Money

From the Archives – Standard of Living?

One of the most telling characteristics of our culture is how we collectively determine an individual’s standard of living. The concept of a “standard of living” is something like a high-jump bar by which we gauge the quality of our daily lives. Some people cannot clear the bar and we say they experience a “low standard of living.” Others clear the bar with considerable room to spare and we declare that they enjoy a comparatively “high standard of living.” Those who fall between these two sub-sets keep jumping, but never seem quite sure if they clear the bar or not.

Irrespective of how high we are able to jump, one thing is certain: our culture naturally defines standard of living in terms of economic prosperity. The bar by which we gauge standard of living is hoisted to its current height by prevailing economic conditions and expectations and then we orient ourselves toward attaining that height—and then some.

1455 reads

Is It Morally Okay to Keep Updating My Things?

"I’m not that old, but it seems like a lifetime ago that it was acceptable to keep things until they were broken. Now if my phone is more than a year old or if I haven’t remodeled my kitchen in the past decade, I’m out of date. Is there a moral right or wrong to this consuming of new and updated models of stuff?" - TGC

1205 reads

From the Archives: On Being Generous

This article is an add-in to the series of posts on Tipping, Tithing, and Grace Giving. As I have continued to study what the Scriptures say about grace giving, I have seen an emphasis on generosity through both the Old and New Testaments. Grace giving is by definition generous.

I ordered an ice cream cone one time and watched as the server prepared it. She pushed the first scoop all the way to the bottom of the cone. She packed the second so it was even with the top. On this solid foundation, she constructed a towering ice cream edifice that looked like it would fall over any second, but held firm as she placed it in my hand. As I lapped at the overspill, I thought, “Wow, I got more than my money’s worth on this one.” The menu offered one scoop or two. She gave me way more. That’s the way to serve an ice cream cone! No hollow, soggy cone that caves in on empty space as you near the end. Delicious, creamy goodness from the first lick down to the last cold, crunchy bite.

Generosity Reaps Generosity

Jesus used a similar experience to illustrate an important lesson about being generous. He said,

Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (HCSB, Luke 6:38)

1472 reads

Americans are more likely to find their ‘meaning in life’ in money than in faith

"In the open-ended question, Americans are mostly likely to say family is an important source of meaning (40 percent), and in the closed-ended question they’re most likely to report they find “a great deal” of meaning in spending time with family (69 percent)....almost a fourth (23 percent) find meaning in finances and money." - Acton

297 reads

Why a ‘Health and Wealth’ Approach to Scripture Leaves Us More Depressed

"Our analyses suggest that reading scripture for insights into attaining health and healing exacerbated the adverse effects of poor self-rated health on depressive symptoms, a finding consistent with an emergent literature on the ‘dark side’ of religious and spiritual coping...” - CToday

348 reads

Pages