Handling your money
By: Randy Carlson
One thing Christ wants His followers to do is to serve as His representatives—or ambassadors—to the world. The role of an ambassador is important and challenging, yet the goal of being like Christ in all facets of your life is one that requires great intentionality.
But what if you’re sabotaging your testimony and don’t even realize it? The way you handle money daily speaks volumes about your faith. Here are three ways it might be speaking poorly of you:
Eating out has become the norm for many families. Occasionally I’m in a restaurant and will notice a group at a nearby table who will pray very publicly over their meal and then proceed to treat the server rudely and leave a miserly tip—or none at all. Also, Bible study groups sometimes spend hours in a restaurant, blissfully unaware they are holding a server’s table hostage. When you are in a sit-down restaurant, you should be aware that servers are typically paid not much more than two dollars per hour and depend on tips to pay their bills. And since each server has a limited number of tables, if you linger long after the meal ends you may be preventing them from serving other guests—and directly impacting their livelihood. Some Christians who work in the service industry say their ability to effectively share Christ with their co-workers has been made much more difficult because of Christian diners who treat them badly. Is this a fair stereotype? Probably not. Is it a perception that has become reality? Absolutely. Be alert and sensitive to this, and go the extra mile to be a good ambassador when you eat out.
Negotiating skills are important—and something of a lost art in American commerce. Unfortunately, it’s tempting to cross the line from fair bartering to chicanery. “‘Bad, bad,’ says the buyer, but then when he goes away he boasts” (about what a wonderful deal he received,) says Proverbs 20:14. You should be willing to pay a fair price without personally insulting the seller or engaging in questionable cut-throat tactics. And if you’re selling, remember that while “let the buyer beware” is a well-worn axiom, it’s not biblical. Be honest and above reproach in your business dealings.
Leaving loved ones in the lurch
Ambassadorships are not permanent appointments, and therefore part of the job is to prepare the path for those who follow. Are you using your money only for the present, or are you securing the future for your family? Saving for emergencies and retirement, as well as insurance and estate planning are vital to your testimony of stewardship. The majority of Christ followers haven’t prepared properly for the future. Have you?
“Are you using your money only for the present, or are you securing the future for your family?”
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What’s One Thing you have done to be Christ-like with your money? Post your comments below.