Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV
American Pickers traces the journeys of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they scour the countryside. These two lifelong friends are intent on finding backyard relics and turning them into riches. The show's website says,
Antique pickers like Mike and Frank travel the country, meeting collectors, hoarders, amateur historians and other individuals who all have unique stories to tell. Each and every treasure they uncover is a new history lesson, providing a glimpse at American life in the recent and distant past.
Shannan and I enjoy watching Mike and Frank in action. They encounter and uncover a mosaic of Americana. The people they meet are fascinating, but it is the hoarders that intrigue me. They just can't let go of their stuff.
I wonder if there's a little hoarder inside of all of us, something that doesn't want to relax the grip on our possessions. But look out, that tightfisted squeeze is double trouble. It keeps us from honoring God and from experiencing the blessing he promises in Proverbs 3:9-10.
Last week, a friend dropped by and passed along a workbook from Generous Giving, an organization that is intent on helping Christians to discover the joy in giving God's way. In it were 40 questions from Randy Alcorn. I've listed five of them below. Each question may not relate exactly to where you are today, but take a few moments to ponder them. Then ask God what he thinks.
- Have you raised me up, with the financial assets and opportunities you've entrusted to me, for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:14) Have you called me to join a great team of your children in freeing up money and possessions to reach out to the needy and fulfill the great commission?
- In light of 2 Corinthians 8:14 and 2 Corinthians 9:11, do You want me to assume that each financial blessing You entrust to me is not intended to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving?
- Am I treating You as the CEO/CFO of "my" assets, or am I treating You merely as my financial consultant, whom I pay a fee (10% or greater)?
- What am I doing to train my children to be generous givers--not just donors, but disciples?
- Has money become my idol? Are material assets competing with You for lordship over my life? Is generous giving Your lifeline to rescue me from bondage, Your leverage to allow me to tear down the idols? If materialism is the disease, is giving the only cure?
But just as you excel in everything -- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us -- see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7
What's your next step?