Monday, July 2, 2007

Money

Yesterday, at Otter Creek, Tim Woodroof preached a very, very good sermon as a kick off to his series on Money. It's available at http://ottercreek.podomatic.com/entry/2007-07-01T15_17_32-07_00 and well worth the listen.

Why do you all think it is so hard to talk about money issues in the church? Is it because whenever money is talked about it's usually associated with giving? Tim even went to great pains to say that he wasn't going to be talking about giving in this series. Has money become such a private thing that even those people who are supposed to be united under Christ don't have the ability to honestly share what they do with money? Are we afraid that if we share, we'll be embarrassed at what we spend our money on? Does it take a series like this to get people talking?

And as another followup, if you listened to the sermon or were there, what else would you like to hear about money from the pulpit? What do you need to hear?

I know, I know, lots of questions, but I'm just a curious guy, I guess.

Phil

5 comments:

greg said...

I think you hit on it with these two questions:

Has money become such a private thing that even those people who are supposed to be united under Christ don't have the ability to honestly share what they do with money? Are we afraid that if we share, we'll be embarrassed at what we spend our money on?

I think Jesus spoke some pretty challenging words regarding money, and if we really take them seriously, it makes us pretty uncomfortable. If we really take a close look at what we do with our money, it might raise questions we don't want to have to answer.

lance said...

there is also a verse that says to do your giving in secret. we shouldnt do our giving for others to see. i think there is a fine line in there somewhere. maybe close friends can help each other stay accountable but we do not need to know what everyone gives. i dont see that being benefitial at all.

Sarah said...

I agree that there is a verse that says to do your giving in secret and understand that Jesus does not want us to "toot our horn" or how it is written to not announce it with trumpets. That is true that this will help no one and most likely discourage others and as Jesus also says your reward will be in full and not from the Father in heaven. There is also a verse that Jesus points out that the poor widow has given out of her poverty and given all she had to live on where the rich gave their gifts out of their wealth. This teaching comes right after Jesus warns of those who walk around in flowing robes and place themselves in seats of honor. I think what we need to be weary of is what are we spending our money on. Yes, it may not be beneficial to share what we are giving but I am afraid that sometimes we take that as the only thing God is concerned about (and maybe He is--I am not a biblical scholar). I think that He may also be concerned about how we carry ourselves in public and that may be by the types of clothes we wear, types of cars we drive, or other things that we may spend our money on. I think that our attitude may change if we are dressed a certain way ---we may be seeking honor or praise without realizing it. I need the accountability (from close friends like Lance mentioned)to hold David and myself responsible for being good stewards of the money God has given to us. I am afraid that I am too tempted by the world to think that David and I can do this alone.

Angie said...

I think I personally want to keep my finances private because I would be embarrassed about how I use money. I think Greg is right, that if we took Jesus seriously, we would all be spending money a lot differently. It is convicting, but easy to push under the rug and forget about, when no one knows how you really spend money. Like Sarah, I think some accountability from close friends would be very beneficial.
If the house you live in, the car you drive, and all your stuff was dropped into the middle of an African village where people are starving to death and have no decent clothes, I am sure that we would all make drastic changes in the way we accumulate things and spend our money. It is just very difficult to think about others who live so far away and to not get caught up in wanting to fit in to our culture.

lance said...

i am enjoying this discussion and i wish it happened more often on this site.

i understand what you guys are saying and dont disagree but i dont think it is very realistic. i think having an older mentor couple to talk about finances with is a great idea. i think everyone knowing what everyone does is a terrible idea. i think our peers may not even be good accountability partners.

i know my heart and know i love the praise of men. jesus talks about this a lot. i would love for you guys to know if i am a good giver. maybe i am the only one in the group who would struggle with this but i bet not. in that case it would be better for me to do my giving in secret and have you guys think i suck at giving.