At a time when the economy has many churches cutting back on community outreach and missionary work, a Chicago area church has chosen to do the opposite.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2010, this congregation is giving sacrificially to meet the needs of people in their area. They are sending 25 adults back to college, rescuing 25 families from foreclosure and liberating the needy among them from $2.5 million of oppressive debt. In effect, they are living examples of the working out of God’s love.
Some find it difficult to give during tough times. Others have trouble giving at all.
And the love of money can be dangerous to those of all financial positions, producing negative attitudes that manifest themselves in greed, bitterness, irritability and depression.
John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest man of his time, pursued money with a passion. By the time he was thirty three, he had made his first million. At forty three, he controlled the largest business on earth. At fifty three, he was the only known billionaire in the world. In spite of having all that money, however, he was unhappy because his money had him and was destroying his health.
Fortunately, Rockefeller recognized the destructive power that money had over him in time and began giving it away. The change from getting to giving worked a miracle in John D. Rockefeller’s life. In trading his self-seeking attitude for one of service to others he became healthy and happy. By losing his life, he found it and the man who was thought to be near death at fifty three lived to the ripe old age of ninety eight.
In his widely read book, “None of these Diseases,” Dr. S.E. McMillan shares a personal experience about distress over money and tells how he conquered it, writing: “The stresses of living are not nearly as responsible for a host of debilitating diseases as are our faulty reactions to those stresses.
“Recently, I was faced with a loss of some money. The loss was on my mind when I went to bed and it awakened me about 4 A.M. The next night I didn’t sleep well because I was depressed.”
Fortunately, Dr. McMillan found relief in a verse from the Bible that helped him forget about his money worries and be thankful for what he had rather than depressed by what he had lost.
My breakfast meeting with a member of my church was to listen to his concerns over money problems. He was deeply in debt and had asked for help in finding a way out of his difficulties.
When we met, he surprised me by saying: “I think the only way I’m going to get out of this financial bind is to give my way out.” His conclusion was based on a Biblical promise: “Give, and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6:38). “It’s working!” my smiling friend reported later.
Does increased giving always pay? Why not give it a try today!
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at email@example.com .