"One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor,
yet has great health."
A Challenging Time Is anyone else “taking it in the chin” right now with inflation?! I know my wife and I certainly are with two elementary age children. As a history teacher I cannot help but relate our current time to the 1970s and 1980s regarding inflation. Food, energy, consumer goods, vehicles, etc. are all increasing while the interest rates follow suit. Keeping Up With the Jones We've all heard the phrase “keeping up with the Jones” and it is a constant battle not to do so. Recently, my wife and I were invited to Greers Ferry lake by friends. We had a wonderful time enjoying the fun and fellowship and were very grateful for their generosity. On the drive home, my daughter started asking my wife and I why we didn't have a boat and various things this family had. A Discipleship Moment During that moment I remembered Brad Harville, who sat by me in MD5 most weeks, sharing a similar story when his own daughter asked the same question to him as a teenager. Brad used it as a teaching moment by explaining the amount of money he and his wife annually tithed to their church. He explained that they could take this amount and buy a boat with it but they chose to give it to the Lord instead. He asked her if she thought they should take that money from God and purchase the boat. She agreed the Lord should have the money and she also witnessed a valuable example of biblical stewardship. Our Turn to Disciple Remembering that vital parenting lesson, my wife and I decided not to get offended but to also take the opportunity to teach our kids. We explained the cost of all these expensive toys, the personal property taxes paid on them each year, the weight of the monthly payments, the lack of flexibility that comes with being weighed down with debt, and most importantly not being able to give God the first fruits of our labor. Pretending Leads to Suffering When tough economic times come pretending to be rich, as Proverbs 13:7 says, will cost you more than just money. You may lose sleep, suffer from anxiety, experience marital conflict, work too many hours, etc. Remember what you learned in Ron Blue’s book “Never Enough?” If we give God our first fruits and are generous, save for the future (short-term and long-term), pay our taxes and debt, then we can live guilt free if we have the financial margin to purchase a boat, ATV, nice car, etc. A Lesson from the Ultimate Teacher As Jesus famously said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
John Gore MD5 Facilitator