Am I Generous Enough?

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Jesus did not condemn accumulation of wealth per se; He warned against making an idol of wealth.

My uncle says, “I feel like I should be giving more to God. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow him. There are people who do give up everything for Jesus, but I own a house and two cars. Does that make me a weak and shallow Christian?”

Perhaps you have had moments of guilt flashes like that. Remember that Jesus’ instructions to that wealthy young man were specific to his situation, not universal commands to every believer. True enough, Jesus and his disciples lived off the charity of others, but somebody had to labor for and pay for their daily food.

Jesus’ words were a strong warning against making an idol of your wealth, not a condemnation of wealth accumulation per se. If significant numbers of people don’t earn more than they spend and have money to give, Christian congregations and schools would collapse.

Here’s my counsel: earn as much as you can; pay off your debts as fast as you can; save as much as you can; and with that money follow Jesus by investing generously in ministries that serve people’s spiritual and physical needs. “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).


 

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