I know speaking of money matters is generally taboo. Private and sensitive. Nonetheless, I'm moved to share this as encouragement to many of you whom I know are beleaguered by the weight of money matters. Who perhaps lie awake, haunted by crippling fear. Who do not feel like you're able to do what you're most meant to do.
Here we go. We are a single-income family of eight depending entirely upon God's provision through a non-profit movement. There is zero "security." We have lived with knowledge of being but a few weeks away from a park bench. (My wife gracefully jokes that it would be the best kept park bench in the world!)
With a smile. I just opened our tax statement from our one account: A whopping $1.54 in interest in 2015! (Beat that Trump!)
Now we understand this is not for everyone. Most would regard it as a nightmare. Irresponsible even. Indeed. Many have scratched their heads: "Your gifts can make real money... why work 70 hours a week... devoting your family, home, equipment, resources... with what hope of survival?"
Those questions seem to subside as the weeks have become years. As they recognize, way beyond our means, an increasing multitude engaged in this "heart of the Church" movement of God's grace. Perhaps they recognize we wouldn't be as effective if we were a well funded institution, if we weren't so radically dependent upon Him.
As "IT's" happening, perhaps they're seeing "IT" points to Him. Perhaps they're given the greatest wealth of deeper faith and confidence in His Lordship.
Don't get me wrong. Money on this side of eternity is important. Jesus spoke of it extensively. We are to be faithful stewards. A laborer is worth his wages. All that. But money is not the end. It's not about money. It's about mission.
I've tried to pursue both. Often with a big toe in both waters. I've worked on "big" Hollywood films while producing award-winning media for faith-based organizations that couldn't afford to pay. I always felt my time and gifts compromised. It's taken me awhile, but each new step "on the water" has reinforced this truth: When it comes to "work," nothing surpasses the joy of using my gifts for the purpose the Giver has given them. Without condition. Without compromise. (Albeit imperfectly!)
So, we're not angels. We're flesh and blood. How does that work practically?
We have a simple plan for our children's college: Invest now and completely in them becoming the best version of themselves (thank you Matthew Kelly?). Yes, this is entirely about them getting a "good" education, and a "good" job, and making "good" money, and having "good" relationships-- if you understand the ultimate definition of "good": God.
Nothing surpasses our children being anchored in the full truth of their nature, forged by a loving God who has destined them for excellence, in their respective missions, for His purposes.
And we recognize there is nothing we can give them, no money, program, book, school, opportunity that surpasses the authentic witness of who we become. We desire to give them the compelling witness that God is calling us, and that what He calls us to, He will provide for.
They were made not simply for themselves, but in their unsurpassed image in Jesus Christ, to be instruments of God's love poured out for the world.
So, what of our "retirement"? For most retirement means, "What would you do if you could really choose? If you had no need to make money?"
We realize again that many can not do this, or are not led to do this, but we're not waiting. We're extraordinarily blessed to be doing what we were made to do. This is our purpose. This is our mission. This is the measure of our success in this world and the next. Life is way too short. This present season of our health and use of our gifts and talents is too short. We're doing it now. As the Lord tought us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread," we're trusting that the manna given today is for today, and will be enough for today. Tomorrow's will be enough for tomorrow.
And by God's marvelous design and shape of things, we have confidence that it will all work out for His greater glory. The "K" of our 401K plan simply stands for "Kids.
So yes, money is important. But don't focus on your money. Focus on your mission. You were made for a great purpose. You were equipped for a great purpose. Reflect on the passions and gifts your Giver has given you. Pray to have His heart for others. What is that area of poverty around you for which He is offering provision through you? Lift it up to Him. Ask Him to light your path. Pray for an increase in confidence. Know that with His appointing comes His anointing. Together, in this way, we will increasingly give evidence to the world that He truly is the Lord. He has dominion. Beyond what makes sense, He is the Sustainer. He is with us. He is truly present. Trust. Believe.
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