Two weeks remaining and Mizizi is about to come to an end. My reaction?
Its been an awesome time meeting new friends, connecting and starting a new family in Christ. And looking forward as we start off as a LifeGroup (LG) after Mizizi. The past 8 weeks has been life changing and God has used this gift to change my perspective of Him, life and how I live to serve others for His purpose.
One of the key events of the programme was Money Matters that was held at Nairobi Baptist this past Tuesday (25th). The talk was delivered by Pastor Muriithi Wanjau (or Pastor M). To sum it up, it was all about managing God’s money as a steward/servant of God. That’s who we are. Simply managers of God’s resources that He has bestowed upon us.
The talk focused on two main issues:
- The two kinds of people in relation to money
- Ways in which God expects us to use His money
There are two kinds of people
This part reminds me of one my favorite movie characters. 3 years ago I shared a post on three kinds of people (check it out here) and my reference point was the movie, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. Did I mention I love movies? My favorite character was Tuco, a mexican bandit/thief; one hilarious guy. In his quotes he would mention several times that there were two kinds of people; check out a a scene from the movie (By the way, do you like spaghetti westerns, cowboys etc?):
So there are two kinds of people when talking about money:
- People who control their money: These guys manage their money well and it’s not their master.
- People who are controlled by their money: These guys serve money instead of the other way round. They are slaves to money, constantly in debt and mismanage it.
The money given to us belongs to Him and we are under obligation to make use of it wisely. How do you invest/manage the resources God has given you? Shouldn’t we be good stewards of God’s resources?
The starting point of a solution to any problem should be prayer. If you are misappropriating God’s resources, repent and ask for wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)
Ways in Which God Expects Us To Use His Money
1. Pay Your Taxes
Pay your taxes without fail and faithfully.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:6-7
But, wait a moment. I pay my taxes and some elements in the government are misusing it (corruption??). Should I stop paying since its not being put into good use? God will hold them accountable for how they use the tax payers’ money.
Giving is a declaration that you as a person fully depend on God to supply your needs. By giving we break the power of money and enter a divine economy that belongs to God. Pastor M gave various testimonies of how he and his wife were faithful in giving as God commanded. God aliwasort (God took care of them). We first give to God (tithing; Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:8-12) , give free will offering (2 Cor. 9:7-8) and provide gifts to the poor (Proverbs 28:27).
God wants us to be good managers (faithful in small things), faithful with our tithes and helping out those in need. When you give to God, you lend to Him; He is faithful and keeps His word. He will bless you, not necessarily financially but in many ways e.g. good health, family, friends etc.
This is a tough one. Most people live for today, they hold future hostage in the present. As Pastor M put it,”No saving is equal to eating your future now”. Joseph stored to prepare for the coming 7 years of drought (Genesis 41). If we are not careful, consumerism can be an enemy of saving. As a good starting point, save 10% of your income.
A simple animal like the ant (with a small brain) has the modesty of saving for the future so that the ant colony may survive when food is scarce. What of us, human beings, of great intellect?
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise! – Proverbs 6:6
We want the latest gadgets (I’m guilty) , cars, clothing/ fashion etc all just to be like our friends or try to fit in with society. We want to live the big life just because our peers or “role models” do so. But this comes at a cost. We live beyond our means, borrow a lot (e.g. loans), leaving little or nothing to save and get into debt. Instead of enjoying life we live stressful lives of repaying big loans and running away from unforgiving debt collectors who watch every move we make.
We should not let society dictate how we spend but allow God to take control of how we live. Lets focus on living below our means; how you use your money matters. A matter of needs vs. wants.
In conclusion, this was a wake call for me to be wise in how I manage money as a resource and invest wisely. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but let’s put our trust in God believing that he will take care of you and me.
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Mathew 6:28-34
And as my friend Tuco would say:
Brian Birir March 27, 2014