When was the last time you used your money in a way that brought about a sense of excitement, adventure, and satisfaction, a time that you have yet to regret? I bet it was a time when you used your money for something greater than yourself. You helped a family in need. You provided Christmas gifts for a child whose parents could not afford them. You gave to your church and her mission.
And you would do it all over again. Why do we experience such contentment and happiness through generosity? Why does our soul yearn to live generously?
Because our God is a generous God, and we are created in His image. God has designed us, not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows.
But we are not to be generous just because it’s a nice thing to do. There is a purpose. There is a mission. God desires for us to be generous in order to advance his Kingdom. Eternal destinies are at stake.
The Great Opportunity
James Wise wrote a book titled, Inheritolatry. In it, he laid out an opportunity that we, as American Christians, possess, an opportunity that continues to burden me. I’ve slightly updated Wise’s numbers, but the message remains the same.
Over the next 30 years, it is estimated that over $30 trillion dollars will pass from one generation to the next through inheritances.
Let’s assume that Christians make up 25% of our population. That means that around $7.5 trillion will be in the hands of Christians.
Right now, there are about 3,200 unreached, not engaged people groups in the world, groups that have yet to hear the name of Jesus. Let’s assume it takes $75,000 per year to send someone to reach one group. And let’s assume it takes 20 years to really engage the people group.
3,200 people groups x $75,000 per year x 20 years = $4.8 billion
In inheritances alone, Christians will receive $7.5 trillion. To reach every people group in the world, we need $4.8 billion. The difference between one trillion and one billion? One trillion is equal to one thousand billion.
Let that sink in for a second. The need is a drop in the haves’ bucket. We have the resources to reach the world for Christ.
Pick apart the numbers all you want. The fact remains—God has given us an amazing opportunity.
But it’s only amazing if we take hold of it.
And what if we don’t? What if we squander it? Are we going to be the generation of Christians that cause future Christians, one hundred years from now, to wonder what we were thinking and doing? We had it in our hands! Yet, we did little with it.
But what if we do?
Advancing God’s Kingdom—this is your and my “why.”
This is why we get out of debt.
This is why we save money.
This is why we pursue financial health.
And this is why we find more money.
Our money’s priority is Kingdom-advancing generosity. You’re not making more money just to pay the bills, get out of debt, or save for retirement. These are good things, but they are the means, not the end. They are the means by which we can find ourselves more able to live the generous, Kingdom-advancing life for which God has designed us, where we can more freely pour into our community and the world for His sake.
You thought that you were just trying to make more money to pay the bills and get rid of your car loan? No, this is about something much more significant, adventurous, and satisfying than that.
The foundation upon which real, biblical financial health is established is generosity. You are trying to get financially healthy so that your finances can be a part of God’s mission, advancing His Kingdom. True financial health is living generously toward that end.
1. James D. Wise, Inheritolatry, (Xulon Press: 2017).
2. PWC, “Managing Millennial Money,” accessed July 2019, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/library/managing-millennial-money.html
What do you do when cutting your budget no longer cuts it? If your full-time job barely, or doesn't, provides what you need, how can you even begin to think about eliminating debt, saving, and living generously?
Financial expert and author Art Rainer (The Money Challenge; The Marriage Challenge) helps answer these questions in Find More Money by pointing readers to the reality of the gig economy. When a full-time job doesn’t provide what you need, finding a “gig” may be the answer to your problems.