Sunday, January 16, 2022

Spending Money

Last May just before the lockdown of June-Sept 2021, I preached a sermon where I briefly alluded to using and spending money. I encouraged my church members to tighten their belts and not utilise the allowance to withdraw EPF (CPF) monies meant for retirement. I specially said that if you were in your 30s and 40s, you needed to tighten your belts and navigate this pandemic without resort to retirement savings. Then, I added a caveat of those in their late 50s that there were times that one had to spend money, perhaps saved for retirement in the future but I thought once a person gets to mid 50s or late 50s, he must consider how best to spend his hard-earned cash and savings while he is still healthy. I spoke that day in the light of a couple of my friends who passed away rather suddenly when they were 61 years old. One was a pastor and one was a close friend who attended my 25th anniversary service in full-time ministry.

One must not only spend money because without spending one can hardly enjoy the fruits of one's labours. Is it leaving our money for our children who have not worked for it? In the 21st generation, many young people are entitled and have no shame in depending on their parents even in the mid-20s or late 20s. It is not just living with parents to save costs provided the child who is working contributes his or her part in sharing costs of living together with one's parents. So spending money has some theological basis other than enjoying one's labours over 3 or 4 decades of hard-work. It is also saying to oneself and to God, that it is not the money or retirement savings that I had set apart which is the focus of my financial security but it is in God who gives us all things to enjoy. Often, when we don't spend and that we are stingy, it is an affront to our God who provides for us and that He is the source of all our blessings. Often the savers versus the spenders leave God out of their equation. It was like one participant in a biblical seminar I gave on Ephesians who thought I simply without thought or outlandishly credited God for my good fortune in my legal practise and not my own intelligence and hard work. I know today if it were not God who helped me, I could still be owing my student loan, let alone able to buy a house and cars I own today. So last May I spent but not without regard to the situation I faced at hand which is an ongoing pandemic and economic downturn. But my congregation did well financially. Every time the Treasurer reported to the church either during the service or in council meetings, the money of the church account increased and not decreased as was happening in many churches in the city. God who blessed Isaac 100-fold in a severe famine until his neighbours got jealous of him also blessed the church that I served double or triple in times of financial crisis. Now I am spending Sunday alone with God and it is God who bears witness to His servants for Lord, You know that what came from my lips were true in Thy sight.

No comments:

Post a Comment