March 12, 2009

Rethinking Money - Rich Dad, Poor Dad?

Rich Dad, Poor Dad...the book by Robert Kiyosaki has some wisdom and foolishness in it. The veracity of the author has been questioned. But the idea of two dads dispensing divergent advice is an accurate metaphor for the theological scene in America.

Is God helping us be healthy, wealthy, and wise? If we are deeply plugged into the Holy Spirit will our coffers fill and our possessions increase? Is he Rich Dad?
Is God helping us be sacrificial to the point of poverty, generous to the point of simplicity, amassing our treasures on the other side instead of this one? Is he freeing us from the corrupting influence of the American dollar?

I recently had a conversation with a man in our church who wanted to tell me how rich Jesus really was. He listed a litany of reasons that Jesus was wealthy. The same week I read the blog of one of my church members who had just returned from the slums of Haiti and was seeking to awaken American Christians to the deception of consumerism.

Some bottom lines for me:
1. Money is far more deceptive and destructive than we realize.

2. Money is not a neutral medium. There is a "god of mammon" at work.

3. Money's power can only be controlled through radical generosity to the kingdom and the poor.

4. Scriptural principles of hard work, disciplined spending, simplicity of desires, wise investing, savings, tithing and alms giving, prayer for divine favor, and clean living all lead to overall prosperity and financial blessing!

5. Jesus is not a communist. His desire is NOT that all people have the same amount. Even in heaven this won't be true. His desire is that people have plenty for all their NEEDS.

6. Jesus does not deal the same with every person...some he calls to voluntary poverty, others to great wealth with great generosity.

7. We must be led by the Holy Spirit in our financial journey.

8. Our hearts must break with what breaks God's increase our lifestyle dramatically without increasing our generosity more more dramatically is deception. To put it more bluntly: The wealthier you become the higher percentage you must give away.

Our RICH DAD above wants to bless us BUT he is wise enough to know what a SMALL part of true blessing MONEY really is. He doesn't want us to "have" money if money is going to "have" us.
He calls us to HIMSELF, to know Him, and to share His heart for the hurting, and to walk free of the "love of money".

1 comment:

Dan Lundmark said...

now you're talking my language. You've nailed many of the issues that drove me to study economic development in the context of Christian mission.