On my fortieth birthday, one of my closest friends asked me, "How does it feel to be a millionaire?" This was a question I was not prepared to answer. CONTINUED
I wanted to say a million dollars is not a lot of money. But how would that make me look and sound? I wanted to say a million dollars is a lot of quarters. That is how I really felt. I wanted to say money changes you. It takes a whole lot of self-awareness to live with money and you can never ever fall in love with it. Money does not work that way. Money does not love back. No amount of money is a panacea for any amount of unaddressed pain.
I have much respect for the value of money since my early days of growing up without a lot of it around to count. When I first began to acquire wealth, I knew things would be different. I grew up saving money. I also tithed 10% of anything I had in terms of money beginning at age 13. Tithing continues today. I graduated from college with $13,000 in the bank. On the day before graduation, I was sold a brand new Ford Escort straight off the lot and I did not have a driver's license. I had only a Permit.
So my experience with money has been saving it. Outside of lifestyle-sustaining necessities, I like spending it only when it creates more wealth, or when I am helping someone in need, or when I am creating a memory. Most everything I spend money on falls into one of these categories. This has worked for me.
I have made mistakes in each of these categories too, big ones. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad investment deals, money given to help someone and they were not good stewards of the blessing, or paying too much for a vacation because I had the dates all wrong and had to pay hefty surcharges. But these too have shaped my treatment of money.
Through my husband’s and my generosity we have provided fantastic opportunities for others, mostly anonymously. Once we paid private school tuition for a year for a African-American young man whose parents simply ran out of money. We never learned who he was, we only knew he really needed it. We have sent people on mission trips to South Africa; they never knew from where the blessing came. We have loaned our family down payments for first time home ownership. That kind of stuff.
But we have also said no. We have said no a lot. I have gotten better at it. Like I said, money changes you. Not only those with it, but also those looking in on those with it. I don't give or loan money to anyone who brings with them a spirit of expectancy. No one comes out ahead. No one. I should also mention I rarely ever loan money any longer. I must be willing to give it before I can loan it. Otherwise lots of feelings get hurt, starting with mine.
So why is all of this important? For me this is the point. You can never do enough, spend enough, give enough in God's eyes if done through a prism of his purpose. He is always waiting to outdo you. He has and he will repay our giving. I believe those that have should give with a giving heart. It is a test of our stewardship over gifts from above no matter big or small. And when we show ourselves worthy and ready, he will give more and more and more, until there is not enough room in our storehouse to receive it.
My growing wealth is a true testament to my obedience and his promises kept. Every time I do something with his name on it, he completely blows my mind. There is no monetary value I can place on that!
BOOK SALE http://www.liveyourawesomelife.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html