You’re Perfect (Financially and Otherwise!) … Until You Realize You’re Not

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Did you know that you’re always right?

Randy Harris writes:

I won’t say I’m perfect, but I’m closer than most.  And I think I’m right about everything.  So do you, by the way.  Think about it. Do you need to pause so you can think about it? We have to get clear about this. Everybody thinks they’re right about almost everything.  If you don’t, you’re an idiot. If I ask you why you hold the view that you hold about anything, you will say that the reason you hold it is because you think it’s right. …Now your past experiences has proven that you’re occasionally wrong, but even those things you were wrong about you have now changed your mind about and you’re right again.

Randy Harris in Soul Work.

While I believe this statement is correct (and in your face), it does present a spiritual complication for us.

The complication is this: we can tune out God’s calls for obedience, discipleship, and transformation.

Why?

Because I’m right.

I’m managing my money in the way God wants me to be managing my money.  I’m giving in the ways that God wants me to be giving.  I’m frugal when I need to be and generous when I need to be.  I give my 10%.  I’d give more if I had more money.

Yet, there is a disconnect between what we read in the New Testament about money and how we spend our money.  Is it possible that what we spend money on reveals what we value?  If so, does your checkbook reflect God as the priority of your life?

Too often, all those Bible stories about money are read as if they apply only to others.

One of my personal pet peeves as a preacher is that the right people are never in the auditorium when I preach.

I’ll hear some of the following comments:

  • “I wish my wife was here; she really needs to hear that sermon.”
  • “I’m just sorry that my son didn’t make it because he really should have heard those words.”
  • “If Sister Sally were here, she would have felt convicted.”

Notice the pattern?  We don’t need the sermon – they do!  It bothers me also when preachers spend all their time talking about them.  They teach this …  They practice this … They say this …

I don’t control ‘them’, and by spending an entire sermon talking about ‘them’, the preacher just reinforced the fact that I’m right and they’re wrong.  You’ve closed the door of my heart to being open to the possibility that I’m still a work in progress.  I’m still in the process of being sanctified.  I’ve not yet finished the race.  I’m not yet all that God wants me to be.

We have a tendency to compare ourselves downward, not upward.  At least I manage my money better than Uncle Joe.  Compared to most Americans, I’m very generous.  The problem is that God calls us to measure ourselves against another standard – Jesus.  He gave himself freely on the cross.  When I compare myself to his generosity, is there any room for growth?

What if we entered the New Year with a different attitude and a little less confidence?  What if we layed out our lives and our finances and asked God to reveal our selfishness and inadequacy.  God, show me the ways I love money.  God, show me the ways I’ve practiced greed.  God, show me the times when I’ve ignored the needs of others.  Father, show me the ways I’ve dishonored you with my finances.

Until we see a problem, it will be very hard to fix a problem.

Churches in North America need a financial transformation.  We need to be challenged to live more selflessly with our finances.  We need to be open to the possibility that God is calling us to do more with our finances.

It is only when we humble ourselves that we’ll be open to a new approach to finances in the new year.

Comments

  1. JD says

    I so like this entire post. I can remember sitting through a few of those type of sermons and coyly understanding “who” it was meant for. How sad. As I begin to remove the board from my own eyes I now know they were meant for me.

    My husband I just reviewed our goals and giving and made new ones for the upcoming year. It is one of the times we sit together and speak openly and freely about where we want to see our focus for the time ahead. We see our shortcomings and aim high.

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