Friday, October 19, 2018
THE GOOD LIFE AND GENEROSITY
Sermon Summary, 10/14/18, “The Good Life and Generosity” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
We’re in the midst of a three part series on the Good Life. Last week we reframed it in terms of gratitude, relationships and purpose beyond ourselves. The latter bridges to generosity. Money. Ah. The thing we never talk about in church yet one of Jesus’ biggest topic of his ministry. Money, close to hedonism. “The Love of Money” is the counterfeit path to the Good Life. Our Scripture admonishes us to avoid the “love of money” and to “be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share...so that they can take hold of the life that really is life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19) How is it that we can grab hold of the life that is really life?
Some notes on money in America: Since 1960 our real income has grown 15 percent while our life style has grown 30 percent. Our houses have tripled in size and we’ve moved from one car to two and a pickup. For those on credit their credit card debt averages $17,500; their car loans $28,000; student loans $75,000; mortgages $72,000, all on an average income of $75,000. Easy to see that one of the biggest sources of stress in America is money! It is the third leading cause of divorce and my hunch is that it leaks over into one and two.
I’m a Dave Ramsey fan who says we should all have an emergency fund of two to six months in case of a broken leg or lost job. What a stress reliever. Then take care of basic needs, shelter, food, and transportation (he suggests cars old enough to not need collision insurance). Then, if you are in debt, take care of the debt. When you are out of debt, you have discretionary income to pursue dreams and goals. You have margin. You are living within your means. The Good Life is found in the margin. You are able to be rich toward others, generous, ready to share; to grab hold of the life that really is life.
One of the most precious commodities we have to share is time. And what if with our generosity of time we could lead a child out of poverty, break the poverty cycle of so many of our families? What if? What would it be worth to you?
Lin Diekamp tells that many of the children in her elementary achoolcome from broken or damaged homes with inadequate attention to their children’s educational needs. What if handful of us could commit to a class room to read to a second or third grader for minutes every two weeks. What if a child caught hold of reading that for them lead to the life that is really life? What if? Talk to Lin, talk to me if about it. Take hold of the life that really is life. Amen.