Can You Gauge a Heart by A Checkbook?
Many believe that giving is a sign of your heart. The more you give, the more it reflects your willingness to sacrifice more for God. But the problem is that there have been plenty of benevolent people who aren’t in the right place with God. Granted, a good hearted person will always be a giving person, but does giving mean they have a good heart?
I’ve never seen someone who gave of their time and of themselves and were not close to God. Many of us have heard the phrase that if you want to see someone’s relationship with God, just take a look at their checkbook. I think they’ve got it all wrong. Because i believe that if you want to gauge someone’s relationship with God look at their calendar.
As believers, i think we have this infatuation with money because the church is always asking for it. We automatically assume that it’s the most valuable asset in transforming the Church. I’m starting to think that money is the worst asset we use to advance God’s kingdom. If we think about all the moments that Jesus warned about money, we get this impression that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and yet, once money reaches an offering plate somehow it becomes exorcised of its potential evil. In my mind i’m envisioning a picture of Jesus’ miracle transforming water into precious wine as it is being poured out. Wherein money miraculously transforms it’s bad qualities into good qualities as it’s being poured in the offering. I know, it’s a head-scratcher.
if it’s hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, then how can a rich church find it easy to do the work of the kingdom of heaven? Can a rich church be a strange anomaly? I’m not trying to preach against riches, or say that if you or your church has money then you are evil. That’s not it. What i’m trying to explain is how our time is the most valuable asset for the Church and it’s possible that money may be the worst (although necessary) asset.
What Makes Time More Valuable Than Money?
There are a few characteristics of time that make it more valuable than money.
Time is not renewable, although with money, we can always make more of that. Some give money out of guilt or peer pressure and this can be the case for time as well, but it is only money that is given because they have nothing else to do with it or because it is a tax deduction. Donating time because you have nothing else to do is almost never a reason someone donates it, and technically, it’s not a tax deduction. I personally find it hard to give my time. I have a business, 2 young children, and a wife that i love to spend my time with; so i find it hard to take time away from those things in order to give to others. Once i give my time on a Saturday to help someone, i have lost that precious time of family memories or relaxation and i can’t get it back. Time is my ‘love language’ as well, so this may also be another reason why this subject hits close to me.
One thing that also makes time so valuable is it’s equality. Everyone has 24 hours a day to spend without the ability to earn any more. There’s no poverty level or upper class. There’s no welfare handouts or “one-percenters” to complain about either. Sure, some of us have fuller plates than others; and i’m sure you’re thinking that you’re one of them right now. Many people can say that this person has more money than me, so they can give; but no one can actually make that statement in regards to time. I don’t care how busy someone can be, you don’t have less or more time than someone who works 60 hours a week as a single parent or if you are someone who is retired at 60.
Another trait of time is that you can’t tell when your time is going to run out. Your life could be over while you are reading this, or it could be over in 50 years. We all know the statement that life is but a vapor. For some, it may not even be that much, and for others, the vapor sticks around for some time. You can’t leave an inheritance of time to your family either. Some of us spend a good amount of energy accumulating a nest egg to leave to our future generations; but once we die, our time on earth is gone and cannot be inherited by anyone else. There’s nothing to pass on.
The challenge going forward is for each of us to donate our time. Help someone. Pray with someone. Be with someone. Comfort someone. Share not just your money, which seems to evaporate faster than time; but share your time with someone, which leaves an everlasting impression on someone else.