By Mike Stickler
“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.
At 16, I got my first job selling boat wax at an international boat show. I have worked my entire adult life. While still in high school, my father tried to teach me a lesson, which at times I believe I’m still learning. He would say, “Don’t spend money on the come.” Before you make a commitment, before you purchase an item, before you make plans, identify how it’s to be funded and at best, have the money in the bank. When you make a commitment to hire someone to do work around your house or to purchase an item, you are putting into motion the hopes and dreams of those who you intend to pay. The contractor begins to make plans on how he will use the money to make his car payment or to pay for food for his family. The manufacturer looks at sales estimates and hires or lays off employees based upon those projections. Your decisions and commitments directly impact many peoples’ lives—many, well beyond those whom you know.
In the framework surrounding Jeremiah 22, the Lord is warning of Jerusalem’s fall and verse 13 is a warning of part of how it would happen (and how it could happen to our society)—believe it, or not, in how we conduct ourselves in these transactions. It’s funny; but, no matter how generous we are, no matter how much money we’ve given away, how much good is done, when we fail to be faithful in the area of being honest in our transactions, all the good we’ve done is forgotten. We are remembered, instead, for this failure.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Generous living is a life of proper stewardship. We aren’t living generously if we give away our time, talent, and obligations in one part of our lives; but, not meeting the obligations in the other parts of our lives. Today I’d like you to list the areas of your life where you have – as the adage says – “robbed Peter to pay Paul.” Go repent to Peter. That atonement should include a plan to meet that responsibility or maybe it is just recognition of how you treated them disrespectfully. This may be a challenge for some, but with God’s grace and guidance, bring your life into balance. Write down the areas needing improvement in your life. How did these individuals respond when you went to them in repentance?
Let us know in the comment section below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.