I was recently reviewing a job description for a resource development position at a well know faith-based nonprofit and there was no mention of the spiritual dynamic in the role. It appears that this position could apply to any sales position, so I started to ask myself why.
The reality is that our use of possessions has a huge impact on our eternal lives and there is a vital link between our earthly possession and eternal soul. While few Christians seem to take seriously what they do with their possessions, Scripture makes it clear in Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 that we are all to give an account of our lives to God at the end of our earthly life. We will be asked to answer questions about how we used our possessions such as: Where did it all go? What did you spend it on? What was accomplished for eternity through the use of all the stuff God entrusted to us here on earth? Do we realize that rewards are awaiting us?
Possessions and the spiritual development of our soul are very important topics to God and so important that 17 of the 38 parables of Christ are about possessions. In counting verses in Scripture, possessions are mentioned 2,172 times—three times more than love, seven times more than prayer, and eight times more than belief. About 15 percent of God’s word deals with possessions – treasures hidden in a field, pearls, talents, pounds, stables, etc. Assuming God knows what He is doing, should not our giving reflect the values of scripture?
Richard Halverson, (former chaplain, U.S. Senate) nailed it when he wrote “Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a [person’s] real nature, money is of first importance.”
Many of us feel that if our ministries or we only had a little more money or possessions, then somehow our life would get straightened out. But perhaps there is something fundamentally faulty with this strategy of getting more and more. Even when we get a pay raise, we often don’t give any more for God’s work. What we need is a different starting place, a different assumption for our lives. That foundation is found when the priorities of life are rearranged so that God is put first in all areas of your life, including our stuff. Should not a ministry’s asking practices, assist their supporters in this eternal value approach?
There are Christians for whom handling their possessions is an integral part of their spiritual lives. They have found a more solid foundation for their whole life – one that starts with their commitment to following Christ and serving God’s Kingdom by being generous. God does care about our possessions, our giving and how ministries ask. Until ministries and their position descriptions for resource raising folks starts to reflect this worldview and asking along the line that honor God, generosity will be modest.
Wesley K. Willmer, Ph.D., CCNL, Wes is a former Christian Leadership Alliance and ECFA board member and currently serves on the CLA Advisor Council. You may reach him at Wes.Willmer@aol.com.
Want to become a more faithful steward of what God has given you? Then be sure to watch Jay Link on Stewardship Ministries, each week on CLATV.
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