I have experienced a few ups and downs in my life financially. If I would have kept my Microsoft stock I could have retired many years ago, but that’s another story. I have had times when our income was well over $100K and years when our income was literally negative.
I have felt that I have been a good steward to the money when we had it. Our children didn’t know how much we made and we worked hard at trying to have the negative years not effect us much either.
Maybe my perception of being a good steward is off. What does God expect?
Here are areas I see, and I’m not saying I do all these, they are just what I see locally as opportunities to be generous with our money. Tithing, of course a "full and honest" tithe…whatever that means. Fast offering, yes a generous one, really generous. PEF sure it is an inspired program and seems to be working, so put some money here. Humanitarian fund, again yes, what a great way to help those in need, where you know nothing extra is getting skimmed off the top. The local food drives, scouts, newspaper carrier, grocery store, local church, yes all of them. Donate clothes etc. to Salvation Army. Local charity auctions, public television…I’m sorry I guess I could go on and on.
My point is where to we stop. I can drive my 1995 car one more year and give move to the PEF. I can downgrade the resturants when my wife and I have our weekly dinner/date night and give more to the humanitarian fund.
On the other hand I could cut back, (pay my tithing – that’s a given) but cut back by only giving $25 for F.O. (generous considering there is only two of us now), maybe a few bucks or none to the PEF and Humanitarian fund, skip the food drives, ignore the charity auctions, let the rich people support public television and let the Salvation Army get the money from their own soldiers. With the extra money I could put more aside for retirement, a mission, spend more on my own kids.
Do I need the big house I’m in? Do I need the Mercedes and the SUV? I could downsize and be more generous. Am I waiting until "called upon" by the church to consecrate everything…is that my excuse?
Heck! I deserve all this. I’m paying my tithing, F.O. giving to the other funds, so why not enjoy the fruits of my labors. Nevermind the question, I think I’m just continue doing what I’m doing…it’s a positive income year again so I’ll enjoy it while I can.