“I Need a Dollar”
This weekend, my church started a new series called “Rich People Syndrome” that uniquely discusses our finances in a way that I’m not sure has been discussed before (not your typical tithing conversation). Putting things into perspective…did you know that: 
  • 73% of Americans name money as their #1 source of stress.
  • 84% of couples cite  finances as the source of tension in their marriage. 
  • 2/3’rds of American households live paycheck to paycheck. 
By the world’s standards…WE are rich. Why then does money stress us out so much…and why do we allow it to keep us from being “all in” with Christ? After this weekend, I know this to be “Rich People Syndrome.” What is RPS?
“When external pressures lead to an internal desire to consume more and more until we are living above our means.” (aka “Keeping up with the Jones” or the Kardashians)
As much as 95% of this pressure is artificial – so many of us have created a lifestyle that we simply can’t keep up with. We’ve become consumed with earning that next dollar to fund a living beyond our means. So, what do we do? Jesus tells another parable in Luke 16 (I won’t copy/paste the entire scripture, but you can read HERE – Parable of the Shrewd Manager).

The basic premise of the lesson is that a shop manager is warned that he’s going to be laid off. With that in mind, he begins to reduce the debts of his customers so that when he is out of work…others will remember him and offer him a place to stay. When this shop manager’s boss finds out what the shop manager has done, he is commended and told that he has acted shrewdly. The moral of the story (Luke 16:8-9) “For the people of this world are more shrewd (keen awareness and sharp intelligence) in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Said another way, how we treat people…how we use our resources will reflect how people welcome us into heaven. Although I’m not sure the two are completely related, it sounds like what we commonly refer to as “karma.” 
IMG_7722 RS
With all that in mind…everything we have belongs to God. So, rather than asking ourselves if we have enough (money, stuff, etc), shouldn’t we be asking if we’re effectively using our stuff and our resources to help others? If we did just that, it would change our perspective on what we have.
  • Did I use my resources well? 
  • Did I leverage my stuff for God’s kingdom?
I am definitely asking myself if I’m using my resources well and leveraging my stuff…especially as it relates to my photography obsession. Is it just for me (a hobby or potential business) or can I use it to bring HIM glory?

How we handle our resources is also a test. Luke 16:10-12 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” You probably know the next verse, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The big question then is this: “who are you serving?”