Humans tend to obsess over what they possess – or desire to possess.
Consider the following thoughts by Craig Bloomberg, professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary:
- The poor strive to acquire enough to survive
- Those whose basic needs are met naturally want more as a cushion
- The middle class is discontent because they see people with more
- The affluent compete with their peers in material one-upmanship
Advertising bombards us constantly, creating a consumer culture designed to make us feel shortchanged and always looking to acquire the next possession.
How do we stand any chance of developing generous children in such a consumeristic society?
THE QUICK SUMMARY – Kingdom-Focused Finances by Gary Miller
Kingdom-Focused Finances for the Family is easy to understand and enjoyable to read; it is Kingdom teaching for a Kingdom-focused people. Author Gary Miller disassembles our view of finances and carefully puts it all back together in a way that makes sense.
With its common sense approach to personal finances and an emphasis on glorifying God, this book is realistic, humorous, and serious about helping us become stewards instead of owners.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
If we want our children to rise to a higher standard and learn to live for the Kingdom, it will take more than outward compliance to standards. These standards are important, but our children need to see a higher level of self-denial in our lives.
Our use of money tells children what we actually value the most, and we need God’s help to embody a godly financial vision and achieve a lasting legacy through our children.
It is easier for all of us to labor toward a goal when we believe in the vision.
What is the overriding vision for your home? If your vision is to use every resource your family possesses to build the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to instill this vision in your children at a young age.
Your home should have a clear goal, and every choice should be made in light of this overriding vision. Therefore, prayerfully consider the following suggestions.
Communicate the vision often. If you children understand your vision for your finances, they will be more enthusiastic about working together to reach a goal. Make them an integral part of building the Kingdom. Let them think of ways to save and places to spend. Discuss Satan’s attempts to distract us from a godly financial vision. Be open about your own struggles in maintaining vision. Show them how to properly deal with weaknesses and how to humbly ask for accountability.
Keep the target polished. Use meal times and family devotions to discuss the needs your family wants to target. Maybe you have a widow living down the road, grandparents who need help around the house, or someone in your congregation who has a special need. Keep holding needs up before your family. This will help keep the vision clear and the target for your finances polished.
Discuss the connection between home projects and the target. Children know when they are just being kept busy. But they will be much more interested and willing to help if they know why they are working. Our children will enthusiastically go the second mile to make a home project work if they understand why they are doing it.
Be on the alert for hypocrisy. Children also have a great ability to sniff out hypocrisy. I believe the number one reason the suggestions listed above fail is due to a double standard in our homes. Our children will labor for a vision if the vision has value. But the child learns the worth of the vision by his parents’ willingness to sacrifice for it.
Gary Miller, Kingdom-Focused Finances
A NEXT STEP
The following are some questions for reflection by author Gary Miller as you consider a family financial vision:
- What are some ideas on how you can connect your children to the vision of Kingdom building?
- How can keeping the needs of others before ourselves and our children help keep us focused on the goal of building the Kingdom?
- How does doing this affect our thankfulness and contentment?
- Why is it important to share our weaknesses with our children and ask for their prayers?
- Have your children ever reminded you when you have strayed from your verbal teaching in this area of stewardship?
Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 86-1, released February 2018.
This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.
SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.
As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox).
> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<