The only way, and I mean only way to get a grip on money’s power in your heart, is to return it to its owner. And that’s not you or me. [But] I’ve found myself occasionally getting trapped in the “when I, then I” spiral. Maybe you can relate.
- When I have saved up enough for retirement, then I will be more generous.
- When I finish my exams, then I’ll use my time to serve others.
- When I get a raise, then I will start tithing.
The problem with “when I, then I” thinking is it never stops. There is always another desired threshold to cross, penny to save, or personal purchase to make. It also violates Jesus’ vital principle of faithfulness, which he summarizes like this: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10).
If you’re a boss, you don’t give the big project to a new employee right away. You give them small tasks first, see how they handle those small tasks, and then entrust them with larger tasks. It’s the same with God and the resources he places into our lives for his purposes. He invites us to be faithful with what’s already in our hands. He wants us to develop muscles of faithfulness, generosity, and a his-versus-mine mentality in small ways. Out of love and understanding, God wants us to grow the skill of release before he grows what we receive.
Start releasing [what’s already God’s] right away. Don’t wait. We might not have tomorrow; we only have today to be faithful.
The world screams a different message. While you are reading this, people are getting paid millions, possibly billions of dollars to figure out how to convince you and me to consume more, to horde more, to get more for ourselves. We exist in a never-ending barrage of self-focused indulgence. Never forget, what you keep for yourself is all you get. What you release back to God will be multiplied into his miracles in your life and in this world.
I’ve had the weighty privilege of sitting by the bedside of people who were passing away. I’ve walked families through the process of pulling life support from their loved ones. Never once has anyone said, “I wish I had accumulated more for myself. I wish I had focused more on my own needs.” Rather, I’ve celebrated with people who have built churches, fought poverty, served others, and left a legacy of human generosity, the investments they made while they still could have left a lasting imprint of God’s multiplied miracles on this world. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36).
You are God’s coworker. You create a foothold for his kingdom. He has loaned you resources to release for others to receive from him; if you do, you will experience more multiplied miracles than you can imagine. This is the life you were made to live.
2 Ways to Get Started
Imagine the sense of motivation you would receive from your job every day if getting money for yourself wasn’t your only goal.
- Maybe you scale back the night out on the town and start giving to your church, knowing it will help to sponsor a night out for families with children with special needs.
- Imagine cranking on that spreadsheet or pushing through those sales calls with intense drive because more formatting and more calls equal more families cared for.
Return back to God. Release what is his and you’ll experience all he has for you.
— Adapted from How to Follow Jesus: A Practical Guide for Growing Your Faith by Craig Springer.
How to Use This Book
Do you know new Christians who feel overwhelmed by long lists of rules, unfamiliar Christian jargon, and complicated doctrines? This book is for them, because it:
- explodes the myths about Christian faith that create unnecessary obstacles to growth
- reconnects you to the accessible heart of Christian life and faith
- points you to practical first steps in your new Christian walk
Consider this book a must-read for new and returning Christians in your church. Pick up your copy today.