March 18, 2008

Wisdom from a Friend…Greg Stipe on Money

Written by Boyd Bailey

iStock_000021563572XSmallGreg Stipe is a new friend of the past 2-3 years. He is an entrepreneur who sold his sales training business several years ago. Since then Greg has led businessmen’s roundtables (Trac 3) and done consulting. I love the heart he and his wife Deborah have for Christ. Enjoy this teaching he researched from C.S. Lewis on questions to ask about money.

In Christ,

Boyd

——————————————————

Questions About Money:

1. What are the risks of making a windfall of money?

2. What has been your experience with people who have come into a lot of money?

3. Are there any verses in the Bible that apply to this situation?

C.S. Lewis made a decision to give away all of the proceeds of his books before he sold the first one. Why? Because he was deathly afraid of what money could/would do to him. Are we afraid of money like him? How would you describe our attitude toward money?

Hebrews 11:6…without faith it is impossible to please God. Where are we tempted to “trust” if we have a great deal of money? How can we fight this?
——————————————————
“What is your attitude toward giving your money to the work of God and to the needs of others? Like many of us, C.S. Lewis experienced some struggles in this area: “I’m a panic-y person about money myself (which is a most shameful confession and a thing dead against our Lord’s words) and poverty frightens me more than anything else, except large spiders and the tops of cliffs…”

1. Yet Lewis also realized that his fears were a hindrance to faith. “For many of us the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money; but in our fear—fear of insecurity. This must often be recognized as a temptation.”

2. The temptation to which Lewis refers is that of trusting in ourselves and our material resources for security in life, instead of trusting God. This is a perennial temptation for our human nature. The problem, of course, is not what we have, but what has us. And, our attitude toward giving is a very good barometer of what has us—where our trust really lies. Thus, for the sake of our souls we need to give. Not only for the advancement of God’s work and the good of needy people, but also for our own spiritual health.

This is exactly how C.S. Lewis dealt with the matter in his life. Though few people know it, Lewis lived a very modest life and spent very little on himself. He gave away the royalties from his books to a foundation set up for this purpose. Again and again, needy students at Oxford would find anonymous gifts of money slipped under their doors.

How much should we give? Lewis suggested it is better to consider the manner in which we should give: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them. I am speaking now of ‘charities’ in the common way.”

3. Giving can be a great joy and an exciting adventure if we will follow the teaching of Jesus and the example of C.S. Lewis. And, it will help us grow deeper in a living faith in God.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38 NIV


Comments

  1. Rhonda says:

    This is a timeless message that I will read over and over again. Thank you for sharing this insight.

  2. Patti says:

    Thank you for this encouragement. We give and help with the local communitys and with our church. We love the feeling of helping out and doing Gods work in the community.

    Patti

  3. Debra Stipe says:

    Boyd,
    Thanks for sharing this with the men you minister to. I’m sure it encouraged Greg to know that you felt it was valuable and worth extending to others.

    Trust all is well with you. I understand we have mutual friends in Rick and Nancy Beggs. Special people.

    Blessings on you and your family.

    debra

  4. kathy woods says:

    Way to write, Greg!! This is fabulous! Challenging…to the heart! Sure captures my attention and gets me thinking…..Thank you for the clear call to challenge my thinking and actions!

  5. Diane says:

    Thanks Boyd, this will give me something to ponder on for long time. I am retired and have no financial means to give and I feel guilty.

  6. Karen Lee says:

    Thank you for the conformation! I have been recently disabled and am living on about half of what I have been used to. I have been hearing God’s voice more and more about trusting HIM instead of the pmts. received each month. This is a challenge I will wisely take up!

  7. This message is for Boyd Bailey.
    I appreciate all the reading you sent me, they are very rewarding and I have been sharing them with many people.
    I wrote a book tiltle: “The Living Tree” and if you have a chance to read it let me know how I did and what I could do with all the information in the book.
    May God bless you always!
    Luciana Moretti Studdard

  8. Vicky says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this. Sometimes at night, I would wake up with heaviness on my chest and sometimes on my gut. I know now that God is speaking to me. He has lead me to read this article and all I have to do is to trust Him. Thank you LORD.

  9. Judith says:

    Very helpful…thank you!

  10. Thank you for your Wisdom. It is very hard to be a good steward of God’s gifts and raise a family bombarded by the idols of this world. This is an excellent subject that I will bring up for my men’s group to dig deeper into and hopefully we can band together and support each other to be better stewards. I certainly need prayers relating to this subject. Thank you for sharing such great wisdom in such a difficult and personal part of everyone’s life.

  11. Catherine Garneski says:

    How do you know that what you give is going to be used for the purpose given??People have given to certain charities and churches and found out later that they were not given. thanks Catherine

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Catherine~ What a great question and I am sure one that so many of us have when we want to give. There are some things you can do as you are deciding on who and where to give. You can research the organization as much as possible to see what the history of the organization is and also, how they handle their financial affairs. (you can do most of that on the internet with approved and safe websites). Also, and most importantly, pray about your desire to give and place your concerns and desires with Our Heavenly Father. Ask for discernment and clarity about your decisions. See where the Lord takes you.
      Thank you, Catherine, for your giving heart. We are so thankful you are a fellow wisdom hunter and hope this new year brings you joy and peace. May God bless.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts