We have problems in our marriage, but money isn't one of them.
We asked the money question in a recent letter, another part of our back-and-forth exchange about the family culture we're hoping to grow together.
We came upon a sentence: we want to receive all possessions as a gift from God to be stewarded simply, generously, and enjoyably.
What the heck does that mean? Let me spell it out a bit:
We want to receive all possessions as a gift from God. We suspect that part of being a Christian is believing life is a gift that Jesus purchased. At the heart of it, life is a gift. Money is a gift. The things money buys are gifts.
To be stewarded. If life is a gift, then our response to the gift is stewardship. We hold ourselves responsible to cherish and cultivate the gifts that we have been given. It's all a big thank-you note to Jesus.
Simply. We want to keep a budget that is clean and simple, a system of finances that helps us to keep money out of the foreground. Call us old, but we only use cash for our monthly budget, and we keep it in one of those nifty pocket folders. (Old alert: I just used the word nifty. Shucks.)
Generously. Since I work at a church, we think it's weird to tithe to the church that technically pays me. So we try to use 10% of our money to waste it on people.
Now that I think about it, it feels like a lot. Now I think about it, we could have annihilated all of Eat Street in downtown Minneapolis by now. But we give it away, trusting that God is the inventor of “enough.”
Enjoyably. Because life is a gift, because it is already undeserved, we don’t pretend like we can earn anything by the way we use our money, and we don’t tighten our butts at using money to enjoy the one life we’ve been given.
Just a few thoughts for today. I'll be at camp with some middle school friends the rest of the week, so I'll be back next Tuesday!