Just like your physical heart has four chambers Andy Stanley wants you to see that your immaterial heart has four enemies. Your immaterial heart is the core of your identity. It directs your behavior, your thoughts, your emotions, your consciousness and your will. Your heart is the essence of you that can work for evil or for good.
Relationship problems. Financial problems. Health problems: they all come from your heart. And if your heart is unhealthy, it threatens everything else – your family, friends, finances, career – everything. How do you keep your heart on track?
When the wisest man in the history of the world, King Solomon, summing up all he had learned for his son to know; he said…
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Earn, invest, and spend! Giving and being generous were not part of the conversation. A culture of consumption led me down a self absorbed road for a long time. Even though there’s been a shift towards generosity and giving in our culture, it’s a small step towards a great goal. Truth is most people don’t know how to give. That was me – 35 years old and self serving. Self examination doesn’t show us how greedy we are…..you can’t see it in the mirror.
Has anyone taught you how to be rich by giving? Society, culture, TV, advertising taught our parents to want it all and to overspend to get it. This left them with little to be generous with. Few schools teach how to give. Then fear of the future robs us of our desire to give and be generous. Often we don’t give as we value security, not only materialism, hoarding our possessions. There is often competition for Lordship in our lives between God and money.
How can you change? What’s the process?
Start with the foundation…..
Jesus himself reminds us, “…you cannot serve both God and money”.
Then consider the real security in life…..
“Therefore, do not worry about your life”
Jesus assures us we don’t have to worry about our life because God’s promised to take care of us.
……further Jesus teaches in verse 33,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Then start praying…..
God what do you want me to do with all you’ve entrusted to me?
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Every day, 1 billion people wake up to another day without safe drinking water. Children are sick and weak. There’s a constant struggle to find the most basic of human needs. Poverty grips 80% of the worlds’ population and won’t let go. The lack of safe drinking water is a crisis worldwide.
Here’s how this applies you. Watch this 3 minute video.
This young girl wants to buy 1,000,000 chickens – doesn’t that video make you scream – “what can I do to apply this teaching to my life to make a difference?” Through this and other events in my life, I realized being generous meant drilling wells as the most cost effective way to help the most people. But not everyone’s called to do this. However, everyone can make a difference by asking “how many people will I try to help”?
Are you getting what’s commonly known as “donor fatigue”? If one more person sends you a link to one more campaign – you’re going to lose it!?! Really though, it’s often the frequency of hearing about problems and needs that fatigues us. Statistics say Canadians give only 0.65% of our income to charity. Worse, only 25% give any support to charity. What’s the real problem then? I believe it’s donor fear not fatigue.
There’s a tension between generosity and fear. Materialism often masquerades as cautiousness. We struggle with selfishness and how much to accumulate. We think, what if we give too much? What if we don’t have enough for retirement? What if…
Have you ever received a spontaneous gift, something truly unexpected? A small gift made a big impression on me. A few years ago a friend gave me a Santana CD. He just knew I liked the music and gave me the CD. Suddenly I became aware of the tension between my own selfishness, with my time and money, and generosity.
Here’s the struggle, we have limited time and money to give. Most of us might feel we don’t have margin in our lives. If we don’t make changes and become more open-handed, it’ll cost us in terms of how we’re perceived and how we’ll be remembered.
Headlines surround me with the enticing message of how to get rich. Those same headlines say, to be happy I need the newest and best “stuff”. I am tempted to focus my admiration on people who are richer than me. Most people think of someone as rich if they make double what they do. It’s called the Doubling Up Wealth Theory. If we make $30,000 we think someone who makes $60,000 is rich.
But who is really rich?
We spend so many years trying to get rich but we rarely realize how rich we already are. On a worldwide scale, we ARE rich.
The statistics are staggering. More than half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day.Go to Global Rich List and insert your family income. If you earn more than $30,000, you’re in the top 2% of all individuals in the world. If you earn more than $40,000, you’re in the top 1%. To poor people in the rest of the world, anyone from the west is “rich.” Bill Gates or you.
Once we realize we’re rich, where do we learn how to be rich?