Money-Primed People Show Increased Self-Reliance and Are More Selfish

In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman shares some of the research work of Kathleen Vohs.  During the studies, individuals are exposed to different ‘primers’. Of interest to us today were the studies where people were exposed to primers related to money or reminders of money.  These triggers may be something as subtle as a stack of Monopoly money on a table or a screen saver of dollar … [Read more...]

My Hunts Tomato Can Looked Like it Might Explode So I Called the 1800 Number

When I got home, my wife told me to take a look in the box which was the former residence of 8 cans of Hunts Tomatoes. The last can looked like it was charred. I have no idea if the power went off at the manufacuting plant and the employees decided that they needed to keep warm from the heat of burning cans of Hunts Tomatoes, but this can had a serious problem. I did something that I’ve … [Read more...]

3 Gracious Ways God Works in Our Financial Hardship | A Phil. 4:13 Rant.

There’s a lot of health and wealth gospel and prosperity talk going on these days.   The health and wealth mantra is that if you’re a person of true faith, you won’t experience financial hardship.  Financial hardship is said to be the fruit of a lack of faith or the work of the Devil in your life. Not true.  False teaching. I wish I could count the number of times that people have mentioned Phil. … [Read more...]

Money as a Counterfeit God: Sermon Audio

Several weeks ago, I taught a class on money as a counterfeit god.  The class is an overview of the dangers of money in the Christian life. Obviously, the danger of money is only one half of the equation.  There are some ways we can use money to the glory of God, but that’s beyond the limits of this class. The class is about 30 minutes long. To listen or download the class, you can click … [Read more...]

7 Dumb Things We Believe About Money and Happiness

When asked a direct question, we usually all seem to have the right answer - can money buy happiness? No. Somehow there doesn’t seem to be consistency between how we answer the question and how we order our lives. Traditionally, when Americans are asked what would improve their quality of life, their most common answer has been “more money.” (Jason Zweig in Your Money & Your … [Read more...]

Our Approach to Giving is Broken & Why the Cross Must Be the Central Focus

The better we understand the cross, the more generous we'll be. We (teachers, preachers, churches …) have tried all sorts of things to address the dismal giving situation in America. Ultimately, I believe we've merely danced around the subject for the last few decades. At one point, it was assumed that the reason Americans gave so little is because there is such a poor understanding of … [Read more...]

Watch Out Elmo! Here Comes Jesus: How Jesus is Becoming a Hot Consumer Product

Jesus is a profitable individual. Figure out how to teach him, how to market him, and how to positively present him to people, and you'll be rich. Professing his name is a great marketing tool in that it will give you access to billions of dollars managed by evangelical Christians. It's ironic. Jesus is the product. We've got to make him appealing.  We've got to find how he address … [Read more...]

4 Forms of Giving

The Generosity Factor mentions four forms of giving: Time  Talents Treasure  Touch I suspect as we look at this list we'll find that some forms of giving are easier for us, and others are much more challenging.   Ironically, treasure is usually where we focus or discussions when we talk about generosity.  However, giving is much broader than the act of writing a check.   There's a man at our … [Read more...]

Can Any Good Come from Comparisons With Others?

Today when I opened my Logos Bible Software program, I was greeted with this message: How does your pastoral book budget compare? I clicked. I was redirected to where I was invited to take a 10 minute survey.  After completing the survey, I could (in their words) see "how my budget stack[s] up with others". Some full time church workers get an annual allocation for … [Read more...]

How to Have Everything and Own Nothing

When I get something new, I have a little ritual.  I grab a pen or a Sharpie and I write my name on that item.  It's an important ritual because it tells others that if you try and take this item from me, I'll always be able to get it back since it's marked with my initials.  Those things I own I hold tightly because I've bought them with my hard work and my effort.  In many ways, so much of … [Read more...]