What Do I Do With My Money? — CJ Quartlbaum
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:21
Show me your bank statement and I will show you what you care about. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a preacher say that. Its ubiquitousness doesn’t make it any less true.
How we spend our money is an excellent bellwether for what we value. Leisure, travel, food, hobbies, pick your poison. Whatever it is, our wallets snitch on us. At this point, you already know what it is for you. I know it’s food for me. I basically eat my money (as I write this from a coffee shop with a double cheeseburger in front of me).
Rather than focus on the one or two things we’re spending the most on, let’s reframe it. How much do you give?
Generosity in the life of the Christian is a direct result of the generosity we received from Jesus. There is no act more generous than a king trading places with his subjects, paying their debt, to the point of giving his life for it, when they did not deserve it.
With this truth in mind. Knowing how much we have been forgiven, we give and give generously. Our giving is from a cheerful heart because we are grateful for all that God has blessed us with, temporally and eternally. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says: Each person should do as he has decided in his heart-not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver.
That’s the thing, giving is not to be compulsory. I think that’s part of the reason the tithe didn’t work. For one, it wasn’t just 10% it was likely somewhere between 20 to 33%. Read for more. Another reason is that the Israelites had a tendency towards selfishness, just like us. Hence why there is no evidence that they ever practiced the year of Jubilee.
Despite my love of double cheeseburgers, people still ask me for fitness advice. In these moments, I tend to shy away from taking things away in the beginning. Instead I encourage additive practices, specifically, eating more vegetables.
I want to offer that same encouragement here. Keep buying your sneakers and lattes but also give more, and give first. Go out of your way to be generous before you hit that buy button.
There is no minimum or maximum, think about what God has placed on your heart as Paul says in 2 Corinthians. You can also be creative here. All of your giving doesn’t have to go to your local church (a decent amount should), you can give locally. There are often needs to be met around you. Think about the couple that just had a baby, the family in need of groceries, the person who needs medication, or the friend who needs a spa day (me, I’m the friend), these are just base level. Be an active member of your community and you’ll see needs all around.
There are those who say, it’s only generosity if it hurts you. I think that might be an oversimplification but I understand the sentiment. I prefer to say, don’t look to do the bare minimum, don’t even chase the maximum, pursue the heart posture that gives generously and cheerfully.
Think about where you’re placing your treasure. What good is clinging to things we can’t take with us? Remember what Beans said: I never seen a Brinks truck following a hearse. I can’t help but think of John Wesley here. It’s reported that by the end of his life, he was giving away 90% of his income. What an aim.
Originally published at https://www.cjquartlbaum.com on June 24, 2022.