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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Charity, Materialism, and the best use of our money

David over at Contrarian Views has a series of posts on the subject that I think are incredibly profound. The short version:

It is better to spend our money than give it away - at least in large amounts.

Perplexing thought, especially from a professing Christian? I thought so. Check it out here which is actually part 2. Part 1 and Part 3 flesh it out.

9 Comments:

  • Here's the Oswald Chambers Quote of the day from my inbox.

    "Whenever you come in contact with the great destructive sins in other lives, be reverent with what
    you don't understand. There are facts in each life you know nothing about and God says: "Leave him
    to Me."

    It's a sad day when Christians give up giving because is might hurt the economy or the like. We aren't to be judges of what happens to the money only obedient when God says to give.
    We have to leave the rest to Him.
    I could write a very long story on how giving a house to a homeless, exdruggy, or the like can be the one critical thing to bring them out of their trenches and into His loving arms. We don't know what's happening behind the scenes and in those person's hearst. Only God does. And that is the only thing that matters.

    Honestly God could care less about your money and honestly doesn't need it. What he does need is obedient servants willing to do the work He has called them to do. If that's giving to a large charity, writing a check to a friend in need, handing a buck to bum on the street,or rather then giving money spending 15 mins with a pregnant teenage girl or 30 mins with a teenage girl/boy about to make those decisions; it's all between you and God and no one else.

    Once again a sad day when Christians give up time and money for the sake of the economy.

    By Blogger anna, at 5/11/2005 12:29:00 AM  

  • Hi Ana,

    In all of my pieces, I was trying to show that the line between giving and spending is an artificial distinction that doesn’t distinguish between helping the poor and not helping the poor. I don’t care about the economy except for the fact that the economy allows us to do God’s work and receive God’s blessings. Work is good. Being married to a job is bad. Sacrifice is good. Some charities make life more difficult for those who work and sacrifice.

    We do need to be concerned with how our money is used whenever we spend or give to a charity. The bottom line is to be good stewards. A good steward does not give or spend in ways that will hurt the purposes of God. Also, I was trying to look at this issue a little differently than it is presented in Church. Possibly, I didn’t present it as well as I was trying, but I do hope you will give it a second thought.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 5/11/2005 11:28:00 AM  

  • Anna,
    I never felt that David's posts were about the economy. (I see that you were talking about the Habitat for Humanity thing now).

    I don't think he is saying to abandon charity, just to make sure that it is a) what God wants youto do with it (like you said) or b) in case of no notion of a, do your research on the charitable organization first.

    God bless you both!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/14/2005 12:10:00 AM  

  • David and Hammer,
    This is the fourth time I've written a reply. The problem is a 19th month old that knows how to hit the power button at the most inopportune times so please bear with my lateness.

    While I agree with what I think David is trying to get across...that Christians shouldn't just throw money around without consenting with our Father. I don't agree with the thoughtful giving aspect of it. To me that is judging.

    I think giving without any thought to what Christ would have us do and judging the charities we do give to is not what Christ had in mind when he said to take care of poor, homeless, the orphans, the widows and your enemies. Yes even those that make your sacrifice at work seem for not.
    Romans 12: (well start at the beginning because I hate random verse throwing but the key verses I want to look at are from 9 on.) V20 "on the contrary: If your enemy is hungry feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink...."V21 "Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good."

    Then in 1 Cor. 13 David's point (the point that just throwing money at charities isn’t want God wants) is brought to light that without love even giving gains nothing. But what is love...well according to 1 Cor 13 it is not proud or self seeking, keeps no record of wrong doings, does not boast, does not envy and is patient. (Out of order I know but you get the point). I don't think the goal is to give with a judgmental eye but a true spirit of Christ's love. If God commands you to give don't go look up the organization and ask for an accounting or look at the people they are helping to help you decide if you're going to get more bang for your buck just give and let God take care of the rest. Remember that your sins have been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and hope that others will come to know that same forgiveness through Christ and that your money (which is God’s money is all rights) will allow that to come forth.

    Hammer brought up the point that if you have no idea who to give to then you make the best judgment and then give. I have to disagree and say that a better option would be to put the money into a separate account and let it stay there until you do know what to do with it. If you are just giving to make yourself feel better then you've already gotten your reward. IF you are giving to glorify God then wait on him.

    I also want to say that I agree David that giving and spending in God’s eyes is the same thing. I believe He wants us to seek Him on all money matters, from buying an SUV, giving to a charity, or even what to buy for groceries. It’s all these decisions that draw us closer to Him. Each one is an opportunity to seek His face and know Him more thus making His will for us even clearer.

    I appreciate your patience as I took forever to get back to it. And Hammer thanks for letting me be a blog hog and discuss this on your blog rather then David’s which would have been proper blog etiquette but I felt more comfortable commenting here, no offence David.

    By Blogger anna, at 5/15/2005 07:08:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger anna, at 5/15/2005 07:08:00 AM  

  • I double posted my last comment Hammer so I personally deleted the extra comment. Sorry about that.

    By Blogger anna, at 5/15/2005 07:10:00 AM  

  • Hammer brought up the point that if you have no idea who to give to then you make the best judgment and then give. I have to disagree and say that a better option would be to put the money into a separate account and let it stay there until you do know what to do with it. If you are just giving to make yourself feel better then you've already gotten your reward. IF you are giving to glorify God then wait on him.

    I have to admit, Anna exposed my tendency for action first, waiting on the Lord second.

    There is nothing harder for me than waiting, anna. Nothing! I'd rather fight a horde of enemies than wait to see if they are even coming.

    Perhaps that's why God has me where he does right now...waiting for direction.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/15/2005 10:45:00 PM  

  • By the way, anna, blog hog as much as you want. You are contributing to the discusion with good points and a different perspective than most. The last thing I need is ten people agreeing with me!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/15/2005 10:46:00 PM  

  • I just wanted to add that I don't think it's an easy thing to do Hammer, either. Believe me I know it's not easy to wait on God but it's the right answer I believe. I've learned that for most things the right answer is harder then the feel good answer.

    We continue to pray for you and your family as you walk the narrow road and seek His direction. It's a painful road sometimes but in the end the Glory is His. He will send many (okay not many but just enough) your way to stand by you to help hold you up when needed.

    By Blogger anna, at 5/16/2005 03:16:00 AM  

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