October 21, 2013

Living Simply, Generously, and with a Sense of Accountability

It’s Monday morning. Yesterday marked the half-way point of our church-wide stewardship series. As promised last week, here is a follow-up blog post to supplement the handout for yesterday’s services. (Please note: this week I was only able to attend the English service. I would welcome some comments below from those who listened to the German sermon as well.)

So, here I go. Here are this week’s random thoughts and reflections…again, in no particular order.

1. Why does the topic of “money” make us so uncomfortable? Or, do you disagree that it does?

2. Living Simply…sounds so easy, yet it isn’t, is it? In Pastor Don’s sermon that he didn’t preach (he told me that he had enough information for two sermons on the topic of stewarding God’s finances), he prepared a list of ten suggestions to consider in regard to living simply. I’ll list them here. What do you think? What would you add? Most importantly, which one(s) will you try?

   a. Buy things for their usefulness, rather than for their status

   b. Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you

   c. Develop a habit of giving things away

   d. Beware of the time-saving gadget

   e. Learn to enjoy things without owning them

   f.  Develop a deeper appreciation for nature

   g. Learn to view advertising skeptically

   h. Learn to differentiate between needs and wants

   i. Occasionally treat yourself to a small luxury

   j. Learn to live thankfully and transparently

3. Neither Pastor Heins nor Pastor Don chose 2 Corinthians 8-9 as their main text. This text also provides insights into living generously. Read those chapters and reflect on them.

4. What is your response to Pastor Don’s comment that a basic misconception is that Christians are commanded to tithe (i.e. give 10%)? Have you ever thought of this as a subtle way of thinking “How little can I give?”

Money. Money can easily become god in our lives. How we steward God’s finances is a question of lordship. There is no question that this topic is a pertinent one for all of us. May God help us to become generous, joyful, cheerful givers.

Blessings. And remember, make your cheques payable to “God.” :)

Pastor Leonard

PS: Weekly handouts can be downloaded here. Sermon audio files are also available (English and German)

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