Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Money and Goofy Religion Part 5

 Part 1   Part 2   Part 3  Part 4

Want to experience true financial freedom?  

Forget chasing after the get rich quick schemes, and instead focus on these four general principles from that dude from Nazareth:

1) Don’t let money rule you.  

Jesus says you’ll go schizo trying to serve money and G-d (Matthew 6:19-24).  

Anytime you find that money is your primary motive in a decision (or the amount of money, or the prospect of money), you may want to re-evaluate.

Try this:  next time a pushy salesman says that line that always hooks ‘em, “How would you like to save money?” answer with:

“Eh. That’s not a top priority in my life.”  

The look on his face as he sputters and attempts to regain his powers of speech will be worth every penny you didn’t save by switching insurance carriers.  

You can do this on an organizational level as well.  

I was once told of a church where the pastor instructed the youth group to stop pushing for free pizzas from the local pizzeria.  The pastor’s argument was that the church could afford to pay for the pizzas, and it was more important to support the local community than to stockpile some cash.

Here’s where a bunch of y’all have already misunderstood me -- thinking that I am negating the notion of being good stewards.  Nope.  

I believe it is important to handle our money wisely - just not at the cost of messing up our priorities.  

Just like in that blog that started this whole ramble -- Tim Smith suggesting that if a song writer getting a fee prevents a church from worshipping, maybe the writer should consider forgoing the fee.  (He said “maybe” - he’s just saying to think about it. Priorities.)

The obverse is true as well -- if a church has the resources, it may want to support its local artists and shell out the money to pay a writer, or a singer, or a painter.  

One church I attended had a full time position available for an artist.  A composer filled the position while I was there.  She was obligated to give half her time in service to the church, and the other half to create however she felt led.

It was the church’s way of making a statement about its priorities.

Now one might say, “Hey, wait a minute Sean.  Couldn’t that money have been spent on more Christiany things - like funding missions, or helping out the soup kitchen, or somesuch?”

Sure.  Absolutely.  Can’t argue with you there.

But I would advise you to be careful.  That argument is only used once in the Gospels, and it didn’t go down well for the argument maker.

General principle number 2 - next time.

Just my thoughts,


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