Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 5, 2010
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” Psalm 37:21
The use of money is an indicator of a person’s heart. Generosity or greed, maturity or immaturity, faithfulness or unfaithfulness— these are all motives exposed by money. Every dollar has a motive attached. Money is neutral, but not its use. Borrowing money is not a sin, but not repaying the debt labels you as wicked—harsh words but true.
This is reason enough to be faithful in our financial obligations and even more reason to avoid debt. In fact, why not avoid debt unless it is absolutely necessary? Possible exceptions might be for a home mortgage, especially if you pay it off as soon as possible. Or, it might be prudent to take on a short-term debt to get a business off the ground, but only if you don’t jeopardize the security of your family.
Debt is inviting from a distance, but the closer it comes, the more you can see it is covered with warts. Do not become too familiar with debt and think you must have it. It can be a ruthless master. It lacks compassion and does not care about you or your family. Here’s a comforting fact: You do not have to worry about repaying debt if none has been incurred. If you have debt, pay it back. You are no different from a conscienceless world if you easily default to bankruptcy.
Anyone can walk away from responsibility, but what a testimony you demonstrate by doing the right thing. Creditors and friends will be amazed and even drawn to God through your financial faithfulness. At the very least, you will please God and will be able to sleep well at night. Do not be overwhelmed by the overall amount of your debt. Just be concerned about paying back what is owed today and trust God for tomorrow.
Indeed, one of the biggest reasons to avoid debt is so that you can become a generous giver. Generous giving is also a matter of financial faithfulness. It is a trust issue. You really can increase your giving in the face of greater financial obligations. This is God’s economy. The greater your needs, the more your giving may need to increase.
It does not make sense, humanly speaking, and it could even be construed as irresponsible. But, in fact, generosity is being responsible. It is through generosity that our faith is tested and refined. If we give according to how we can make the math work, then we miss a faith opportunity. Our faith grows most when we are generous.
And generosity is not defined by amount. It is defined by motive and capacity. A dollar given by faith with a capacity of two dollars is radical faith, while a dollar given with a capacity of ten dollars is minimal faith. Often givers are the best fundraisers. People want to give toward generosity. So do not let your modest income and small net worth limit your giving. A generous giver is a generous giver, regardless of the gift size.
Generosity starts where you are, not where you want to be. If God can trust you with a small amount of money, then He can trust you with a lot. The more you hold what you have with an open hand, the more you can be trusted.
Lastly, we can be generous givers and generous livers because of the debt of gratitude we owe God. Of course we can never pay Him back for the great love He has bestowed on us, but we can imitate His giving. There is no greater compliment than imitation. He gives to the undeserving. He gives to the ungrateful. He gives to the unsuspecting. He gives generously, lavishly and hilariously.
Generous giving is His nature, and the very nature of God lives in your life through Jesus Christ. Simply put, be who you are. Be a generous giver, because He first gave and still gives to you. You can’t outgive Him, but you can certainly join Him in this great adventure of generosity. Financial faithfulness is f r e e d o m !
Taken from the Dose 30 reading in Boyd Bailey’s Infusion. This 90-day devotional book is a compilation of the reader’s favorites from Wisdom Hunters daily devotional. Andy Stanley says, “I have walked with Boyd for over 20 years and I am definitely wiser for it. You are going to love this book!”
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