Generosity, Gospel
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How to be rich in every way

© May 8, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

This is what financial gurus tell us we must do if we want to be financially rich; pay our bills – save – invest and repeat the cycle.

From Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, George Bezos, Dave Ramsey, Vusi Thembekwayo to your local financial advisor, all say the same thing about financial enrichment – that if you want money to work for you, you must follow these instructions:-

  1. Pay your bills – suppliers, creditors, staff, taxman etc
  2. Save – retirement annuities, pension funds etc
  3. Invest or reinvest your profits – stock market, property, bonds, shares, start a business, go to school etc
  4. Then repeat this cycle over and over again

That’s all. There is really nothing special or mystical about financial enrichment. It is really that simple. Financial gurus might use terminologies that may sound bombastic and out of touch with the common man, but what they really mean is so simple. These gurus repeat this cycle consistently until it becomes second nature to them. Repetition, they say, is key to financial success.

Let me be clear. What these financial gurus tell us is absolutely right. What they tell us works. Seldom do people tune in to listen to people who are not successful. 

There is, though, something that is missing in this cycle. Something very important. Something the world lacks.

the gospel

What is the gospel? The good news about who Jesus is and what he did for us through his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. The good news that God became poor so that he could make us rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9 NLT) God, who gave up his divine privileges, became a slave so that we could have privileges and become sons. (Philippians 2:7 NLT) God, who became sick so that we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NLT) God, who became sin so that we could become righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV)

Do you see the premise of the gospel? God who was rich became poor to make us rich. God who owned the whole universe lost everything so that we (humans) could have everything. It is a subtraction to addition. It is a loss to gain.

This is the missing piece, I think, that financial gurus miss.

The gospel tells us to approach money as something that is good, something that must be earned and then given away to the least deserving in our societies.

The gospel tells us to approach money as something that is good, something that must be earned, and then given away to the least deserving in our societies. The gospel Christian – a Christian who solely believes and applies the gospel to their day to day lives – will work or do business with the intention of giving to the least deserving some of their earnings. Intentionally give away? Yes, intentionally give away to people who will not be able to pay them back. Without taking advantage of tax incentives that exist for philanthropic causes.

So, this is how it works for a gospel Christian  

  1. Pay your bills – suppliers, creditors, staff, taxman etc
  2. Save – retirement annuities, pension funds etc
  3. Invest or reinvest your profits – stock market, property, bonds, shares, start a business, go to school etc
  4. Give – to your local Church, poor, widows, orphans, underprivileged, charities etc
  5. Repeat the same cycle over and over again

The question, then, arises, but Warren Buffet and Bill Gates give away their money to charity? So, what’s new with your idea of giving money away? 

The problem with their approach is this – not every wealthy person wants to give their money away. Very few do. Even the ones that give their money away, do it with one eye on the tax incentives that exist for philanthropic causes. In some instances, mega-conglomerates have been forced to give through government policies. They are required by law to give a part of their income to charitable organizations or to use part of their profits to better society. It is a forced hand. They do not necessarily sign up for such policies. Mega conglomerates would rather stash away their gains in tax havens, away from the scrutiny of their governments.

On the flip side, I also know of many Christians who are very good with their money but don’t give to the least deserving. They diligently apply what financial gurus recommend to them but when it comes to giving their money away, they are not so sure. These Christians haven’t believed the gospel.

I must admit, I did not know this. I gave to my local Church because I was told that if I didn’t give, God would curse me. The famous Malachi 3:8-9 was the motivating factor behind my giving. While I faithfully gave to my local Church, and the poor, I gave with gritted teeth. I gave because I had to. I gave because I wanted to be in the good books with God and my pastor. That’s why I gave.

Until I discovered the gospel.

The gospel is the fuel behind generosity. It is the reason why gospel Christians give their money away to the least deserving. When I discovered how, God emptied himself, and became poor for me, that filled my heart with gratitude. It did. Bible verses such as these now made sense.

Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 21:26 NLT

Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!

Proverbs 22:9 NLT

Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor.

2 Corinthians 8:9 NLT

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NLT

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

We are generous because the gospel tells us that we didn’t deserve anything in the first place. We give to the least deserving because a rich God was generous to us – the least deserving. In his generosity to us, God knew very well that we didn’t have the capacity, ability nor the willingness to give back to him. Yet, he still gave.

We are generous because the gospel tells us that we didn’t deserve anything in the first place

The gospel offers us so MUCH MORE. Whilst financial gurus offer us financial enrichment, the gospel offers to enrich us in EVERY WAY, so that we can always be generous (2 Corinthians 9:11 NLT)

That’s what grace looks like

This entry was posted in: Generosity, Gospel

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Schulter Etyang leads The Life Place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Schulter is one whom Jesus loves: loves his wife, Jenny; enjoys reading, travelling, cooking, running and playing squash; enjoys conversations with friends about Jesus and about life.

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