7 Comments

  1. Paula Boyette-Nelson
    September 23, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    Fantastic thought and post David! From Austin…..

    Reply

  2. davidmartinhanke
    September 23, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    miss you guys…

    Reply

  3. Elizabeth
    September 24, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    This is SUCH a good question. Very topical for us. Thanks, David! (though you may regret it when you see the length of this post!)

    Before trying to define what/how much is too much, somehow it seems like we have to move back first to a place of really GETTING that we are, especially in Arlington, RICH. (Practice saying it aloud to yourself, ” I am rich!”) Certainly compared to the rest of the world we are, but even compared to many, many Americans. I think we need brutal honesty about that, and about what that blessing implies, allows, and, well frankly, demands. Where to go on vacay? Rich person’s problem. What kind of car to buy? Rich person’s problem. Where to eat out? Rich person’s problem.

    And, at the same time, I think we need to pursue thoughts of why it is that we often don’t really feel rich. (Hint: it has something to do with the fact that there will always be someone richer than us.) God wants us to enjoy wealth, yes, but the Bible is pretty clear that it’s a really spiritual challenge to be wealthy.

    Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim: 17-18)

    Andy Stanley has a lot of super helpful things to say on this subject. I’d strongly recommend his series “How To Be Rich”., if you have the time. I listened to it while riding my (quite nice) bike in northern Michigan (on vacation) this summer. (Indeed, I am rich.)

    http://podpoint.net/North_Point_Ministries:_Andy_Stanley

    AND ON THE FLIP SIDE…you gotta be wary of over glamorizing poverty. Dallas Willard has a really powerful chapter on that in The Spirit of the Disciplines, called “Is Poverty Spiritual?” You should be able to read it here (or Google “poverty, Dallas Willard):

    http://books.google.com/books?id=9tGaxjXkNQsC&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=Poverty,+Dallas+Willard&source=bl&ots=pymet8mqXr&sig=YYl4edObNl_tWcI8xkc-wWoBLsk&hl=en&ei=iuqcTNLOEMT_lgf2-8m3Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

    We have been thinking a lot about what true financial freedom would feel like, how counter-cultural it is, how impossible it seems in NoVA, and how it its with stewardship of children, etc. Would love to see Restoration folks talking this through together. It is something that demands fellow sojourners. Way too hard to do on our own, seems to me.

    THANKS, DAVID!

    Reply

  4. Erica C.
    September 25, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    Wow, this sorta cuts to the quick. I’m not at this financial state, but I certainly think about what it would be like to be there. And of course I have more disposable income than most of the world.

    I do believe that I’m developing (or not) the habits and thoughts towards my finances that is laying the foundation for what disciplines and wisdom I will apply in the future (my next pay bracket, my next stage of life). The idea of submitting my pleasure purchases to accountability seems radical. Radically vulnerable…and humble. But could be a speed train to God-honoring behavior.

    I need to chew on this one some more.

    Reply

  5. Jennie
    September 26, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

    Erica. You rock. I always love your honest and insightful posts. I have a lot of chewing to do on this, too. During one minute, in one context, I am convicted of every penny being God’s and act accordingly…sometimes to too much the extreme. Other moments, in other circumstances, I find myself in a “God must want me to have this luxury” and “life is short, enjoy it mode”. Many times I find myself somewhere in between. And most often I find myself too darn lazy and selfish to think about it. Sounds like a great topic for a small group discussion. Though I am also looking forward to/hoping that we get to talk about doubt this week. In the mean time, lots of chewing going on…when I am not too lazy.

    Reply

  6. davidmartinhanke
    September 28, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    I appreciate the thoughts here. I agree with eboe– let’s accept that we have a ton of resources. Even, we are rich. Now, how do we make decisions of wisdom? One of my friends was talking with me about this and began to tick off items that completely off limits for him (then a few for me 🙂 because they have such a hold on his identity. He or I would not just be buying/doing/ experiencing something for the utility or even pleasure of it. But because of what that thing says about who I am. That feels like the danger, hard question for me. Finding my identity in my goals. But even that is not cleanly one way or the other. argh. we really need each other in this.

    Reply

  7. Richard H.
    September 30, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    no need to wrestle with these issues by oneself. Crown Financial Ministries has been doing a fantastic job of teaching on a Christ-centered personal money management for many years with great success.

    Reply

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