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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today at Church

Within a sermon theme of “Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity,” David Miller today challenged us to look at material assets in the light of eternity.  What is rational in terms of our decisions given that we are mortal and everything we own will eventually slip through our fingers?  We should live simply and give intentionally while we have the opportunity.  He pointed out that 1% of the world’s population has an income of $45,000 or more.  When the Bible encourages the rich to be generous, it is talking to nearly all of us.  In Sunday school our first lesson from The Upper Room was about giving—we should give to help others, not to garner praise for ourselves.  Often it is preferable to give privately.  The second lesson made the point that “God loves the world….God’s love makes the human community one family.”  The third lesson taught that “scripture assures us that nothing is too hard for God…No matter our struggle, God’s promises sustain us.”  Before studying the lessons we discussed giving and saving.  Mitch made the point that saving is not always selfish hoarding.  For example, some people save for old age because they don’t want to be a burden on others when that time comes.  Since they don’t usually know how long they will live or the circumstances thereof, it is difficult to set an exact amount on how much should be saved.  Mitch said that he could understand and appreciate the financial behavior of people faced with this dilemma.  Sometimes saving derives not from being a selfishness Scrooge but the exact opposite.  The same can also be said for people who want to establish a contingency fund to provide for unexpected expenses.  A desire to avoid getting hopelessly in debt cannot be faulted.  In short, selfishness is not good, but it is not always obvious what constitutes the concept.

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