All I have is Yours

About 2 weeks ago, a rock bounced up off the road and hit my windshield. Initially, I was super surprised because I was looking somewhere else and it startled me. After the initial surprise wore off, it was just disappointing. I thought I could drive with it for a while since it was pretty small, but it ended up getting bigger and bigger as I drove. It was initially about 6-8 inches but it enlarged to over 18-20 inches over a few days of driving. Next week I ended up calling my insurance company to figure out how to get it fixed. I was quite disappointed about it since finances have been on the tighter side at the moment.

As I was getting in the car to drive to my church’s small group I remember thinking “This sucks. I’m going to have to pay $325 of my money to get it fixed.” Right after I thought that, I felt the conviction of the Lord right away and the words that popped into my head immediately were “Your money? It’s all my money.” I’ve had a few experiences like this before, but this was probably the most crystal clear and immediate one to date.

I repented of that right away, and prayed that I would be able to think of all of the money I have been given to steward correctly. I’d rather it be a $325 lesson than a much bigger one in the future. For example, as righteous as Job was, I don’t exactly want to be in a situation that is anything like his unless I am called to be. I need to be a good steward with little so that I can be entrusted with more.

It is a good reminder that being a Christian with finances is not simply about what you give but what you do with all that you have received.

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7 Responses to All I have is Yours

  1. Got into an accident about three weeks ago. It was a chain collision but no one was injured except for me who sufferred from bruised ribs (thanks to the seat belt which might have saved my life). Will be forking out something close to US$700 for the excess from the insurance policy. But the bigger pain is the loss of a car which will also mean the loss of the freedom in driving.

    While I deal with the pain from the loss, I am… thankful (albeit in some small ways) to the Lord that I am still alive.

  2. Ame says:

    Thank you for sharing this; it isn’t easy for us to acknowledge this truth, ever.

    It is so critical, as Believers, to acknowledge that not only is everything we have that we can touch from Him … but so is our ability to earn it, to think, to process. There are those who think that what they have earned is b/c God has blessed them b/c of their faithfulness to Him while indicating, either directly or indirectly, that if everyone honored God the way *they* did, everyone else could be so *blessed*, too. Among many other things, what they fail to recognize that even their *ability* to gain what they have is from God … that even their knowledge and wisdom, is from God and not their own. We tend to idolize our own ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge,’ etc, as though we have something to do with having that wisdom and knowledge … when even the ability to have it is from God.

    When it all boils down, nothing we have is of ourselves … even our ability to make sound decisions is from God. We can take no credit.

  3. Mad_Kalak says:

    Had a similar experience. I was questioning the large cost of sending my kids to Sunday school, a vow I made to do as I moved for a job and took them out of Catholic school. I ultimately said, no, they keep going, even though the vow was private between me and God. The next day the boss calls me into his office and I get a raise for all my good work the past year. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but things like this are why I have faith.

  4. Jacob says:

    Great lesson! Thankful you weren’t injured, and thankful that it was only a minor financial hardship.

    It’s especially hard to acknowledge the Lord’s ownership over our money when there’s heaps of it around. A wealthy student pastor at my church recently preached a sermon on greed, opening with a story about how the sermon idea came to him AFTER he and his world-famous wife were recently outbid in their auction attempt to purchase a top shelf home in the wealthiest suburb not just in my city but in the entire country. He then went on to talk about how they give more than a tithe in order to model more generous financial stewardship. My teeth started gnashing involuntarily. It stopped only by praying silently the Lord would remove pretentious piety from this privileged pastor who was preaching from a position of great wealth about greed.

    How can a congregation trust a pastor who is wealthier than most of his flock and sees fit to obliquely remind them from the pulpit? The senior pastor has done this also, but using his Oxford University PhD credentials. Both men display beta white knight characteristics but are treated as ‘alphas’ because of the first man’s wealth and the second’s credentials/high intelligence. Both are too high in the stratosphere to be helpfully approachable by the average churchman. They make the average faithful Christian man who seeks a quiet life in the Lord’s service look like he has not all he needs.

    Time to look for another church?

  5. @ Jacob

    I don’t think he’s necessarily pretentiously pious (although I wasn’t there to see body language/voice inflection/etc.) His point is a good one, but it just probably comes off poorly because of his wealth.

    Jesus used the example of the widow who gave all she had because she was poor in contrast to the extravagant giver who was rich(er). In general, if you’re wealthy you’re probably better talking about Biblical principles of responsibility that you used and how to apply them (e.g. he who is faithful with little will also be faithful with much; he who is unfaithful with little will also be unfaithful with much).

  6. Jacob says:

    @DS

    The parable of the shrewd manager is a helpful reminder, thanks. However, a pastor who has never known material need (or the suffering that goes with need) may have misunderstood his calling. He would certainly find it difficult to model holiness persuasively to the poor.

    It’s important in churchian environment Christian to test the spirits (1 John 4:1), get out the litmus strips and see if leaders are authentic. Maybe God, in his mercy, can work through them even if their motives are less than honorable (Philippians 1:15-18). Maybe they’re in an acceptable relationship with God, but it may also be that many of them have misunderstood their calling and are acting out of piety or guilt. Sometimes the best thing they can do to advance the cause of Christ is to sit down and shut up.

    Some other examples:

    1. Do they come from a tough background or were they raised in a supportive Christian home?

    2. Have they ever experienced long periods of social isolation or alienation?

    3. Have they ever struggled for a long time with sexual desire in the face of constant rejection from the opposite sex?

    4. Have they ever lost their job, relationship, or something else comparable because of a personal failing?

    5. Have they ever felt they were going nowhere with their life, being stuck in an unrewarding, dead-end situation?

    6. Have they ever felt that their dreams have been dashed and that the doors have been slammed in their face?

    7. Have they ever felt out of place in churches and among other believers?

    8. Have they ever had to struggle with health problems at a young age?

    9. Have they ever struggled with depression, serious backsliding, feelings of worthlessness, anger at God, feelings of being rejected by God?

    10. Have they ever “hit bottom” with a serious challenge such as drug abuse, a prison sentence, contemplating suicide, etc.?

    Jesus described his ministry this way: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). But of the Pharisees he said, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matthew 23:4).

    Does a pastor feel free from the spiritual bondage of sin, guilt, dread, emptiness, and/or despair? Or does he feel weighted down? It’s one thing to teach people to be holy; it’s quite another to show them how to be holy by example. A lot of damage can be done to a congregation if a pastor tries to work through these basic elements of faith in himself while teaching from the pulpit..

  7. Pingback: Tithing | Christianity and masculinity

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