At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I must admit that I couldn’t wait to read a blog post titled, “Church Giving Statistics, 2019 Edition.” The post is filled with 25 interesting statistical insights into church giving like how 8 out of 10 people who give to churches have zero credit card debt; or how on average Christians give 2.5% of their income. Overall, the statics show there are great opportunities for growth in how to handle money according to biblical principles. Just a few weeks after reading this blog, a friend of mine shared a Francis Chan devotional with me on James Chapter 5. If you are not familiar with the passage, Jesus’ brother James uses some sobering language to talk about the misuse of riches. James 5:1 says, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.” And in James 5:5, “You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” At first, I thought, I’m so glad I’m not rich like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos; they are the rich ones, not me. They are fattening their hearts for the day of slaughter; they are going to weep and howl. If I’m being honest, I don’t think James was asking me to compare myself to the ridiculously wealthy to somehow feel better about my standing with God. Instead of playing the comparison game, I need to check my heart. Consider the statistic from the blog that said of the
Families making $75,000 or more annually, only 1% tithe (gave 10%) on their income.
Basically, the data indicates that the more families earn, the harder it is for them to be generous. Jesus told us in Matthew 6:21 that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus knows your money and your heart are woven tightly together. That is why I think James is saying that God wants us to examine our hearts and ask hard questions like,
Why do I think I need so much for me and not care about those who have so little?
Am I using my money to grow God’s kingdom or my own?
After prayerfully wrestling with these questions, if you find that you want to take a step toward investing in what God is doing through Sunridge, here’s a link to PushPay that will allow you to safely and securely give to our mission of helping people find and follow Jesus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!