I had the privilege of attending a Journey of Generosity retreat with my C12 Group peers (I’m a member of a CEO peer advisory group that meets in #Austin monthly) in 2017 hosted by Generous Giving. There was no ask, no pitch – in fact, it was a free to attend experience! It was meant to be a disruptive gathering for leaders to have candid conversations and discovery around how would God have us be stewards in our lives, families, and with the assets we have been entrusted with. One of the exercises was a series of questions to review and reflect upon, seeing which one God may want to do business with us on regarding.
With their permission I’d like to share these in 3 parts for you to reflect on in your own life. In 2016 we shared copies of God & Money as a resource with all C12 CEO members and these questions very much compliment the catalyst for robust stewardship that book provided.
(1) Am I viewing myself as a manager or trustee of what God’s given me, or seeing myself as owner and controller of my own stuff? Are there things that God would have me manage differently if I acknowledged them as really being His?
(2) Am I striving to use my income, influence, and privileges as God directs? or am I assuming I now what He’s asking me for (10% giving) and can use the rest as I choose? Is it a question of how much to give or how much to keep/spend?
(3) As I continue to realize that Jesus gave everything by His death on the cross to purchase me, is there a new level of sacrifice I want to give and surrender to Him?
(4) At what points in my journey with God have I realized His generous mercy in my brokenness and sin? Do I hold others to a higher standard than God holds me? Can I give radically to others even though they have brokenness and sin in their life?
(5) Does the thought of sacrificial generosity make me anxious because I feel I don’t have enough to make ends meet? Do I live trusting God to provide all that I need in the same way He provided HIs Son for me to be redeemed? Or have I compartmentalized my trust for my salvation, putting my daily needs in a different category?
(6) Is Christ’s undying love my true treasure, or do I actually treasure other things MORE? Is my money an indicator of my true treasure? Is it my reputation, comfort for my family, recognition? Or do I live my life knowing that His love and grace is all I need?
(7) Does the thought of sacrificial generosity make me anxious because I might have to carefully look at my spending and give some things up? Are there things I’ve decided are non-negotiable? The place I live? the car I drive? Do I live believing that my ultimate treasure is in heaven and not in the comforts I desire on earth?
(8) How much money do I need? Will my answer always be ‘more’? Or, can I set a finish line for myself and give away everything beyond that?
(9) What does it mean to give responsibly and wisely? how can I honor getting out of debt while giving generously? How can I honor saving for the future or estate planning while giving generously? Since Jesus praised the poor widow for giving away everything, is it possible that He is asking me to worry less about saving for the future and to give more now?
(10) Am I trustworthy to make financial decisions entirely on my own, or am I potentially biased by greed, comfort, or culture in such a way that it would benefit me to share my financial and giving goals with some mature Christians in my community? Who might some of these people be?
Reflect on these. I’ll share the other 20 over the next 2 posts. A few years ago longtime C12 member Alan Barnhart (Barnhart Crane) gave this keynote talk on the tensions of greed and effective stewardship: VIDEO