While attending the National Christian Foundation’s Impact meeting in Dallas, I had the privilege and honor of meeting one of the speakers, Christian author Randy Alcorn. Randy is prolific in his writings, with over forty books to his credit, with a significant percentage of his works dedicated to biblical financial principles.
During his presentation, Randy shared a handout that included an article from Family Circle by Author Stephen King entitled “What You Pass On” where he relates his thoughts regarding a near-death experience he had in 1998 that had a dramatic change on his perspective of life, wealth, and generosity. The handout, which included a full copy of the article, was addressed as follows:
To: Followers of Jesus
From: Randy Alcorn
Re: What unbelievers are discovering, without an eternal perspective, that some Christians still don’t get
Randy provides a complete article by Stephen King, which closes with the following thoughts: “A life of giving—not just money, but time and spirit—repays. It helps us remember that we may be going out broke, but right now we’re doing O.K. Right now we have the power to do great good for others and for ourselves. So I ask you to begin giving, and to continue as you began. I think you’ll find in the end that you got far more than you ever had, and did more good than you ever dreamed.”
Randy continues by quoting a number of other high profile “unbelievers”, and, and shares their “epiphanies” and perspectives on these matters. He quotes Warren Buffet: “It’s nice to know that the money will be utilized in a way that helps people’s lives. . . . I get these letters from people thanking me and telling me what a difference it makes. . . . It’s a good feeling to feel that perhaps a million people won’t get malaria who would otherwise, or even, on a very small scale, that somebody’s individual problems have been solved.”
Referencing a recent interview with Bill Gates: “Until fairly recently, my plan was to wait until later in my career to begin extensive giving, to allow time for a lot of focus. But I’ve accelerated my philanthropic plans. Melinda and I are convinced that there are certain kinds of gifts—investments in the future—that are better made sooner than later.”
Lastly, Randy provides an excerpt from an article by Angelina Jolie: “If I decide to go visit a school in the middle of Kenya, or Russia, the kids will be excited. That’s better than having an Oscar. I went through a depression when I was first famous, because what was I famous for? I didn’t do anything great. And I didn’t discover anything wonderful. When I’m in a refugee camp, my spirit feels better there than anywhere else in the world, because I am surrounded by such truth, and family. I feel so connected to just simply being a human being. In these countries, they don’t know who I am. I am useful as a woman who’s willing to spend a day in the dirt. Maybe it was important for me to know that.”
These references to celebrities in a secular culture beg the question for believers: How do your perspectives on wealth and generosity compare to the above “unbelievers”?
Randy closed the piece with a quote from one historically significant celebrity, Jesus Christ: “…remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
It is more blessed [happy-making] to give than to receive. ~ Acts 20:35
Mark A. Trewitt is a recognized educator and author, specializing in estate and charitable tax planning, and other financial services. This post is an excerpt from chapter 5 of his new book, Integrated Generosity for Faith Based Families (Xulon 2016).
As this week ends – just remember that when the new one begins it will MENTORING MONDAY at Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA). There are few leadership experiences that transform a leader more than the 1:1 relationship between a mentor and mentee. Christian Leadership Alliance invites you to register and submit your profile to the Outcomes Mentoring Network. Through this experience you will find a wise guide who will meet you where you and lead you to where God desires you to be.