Why save?

I've been reading a book called The Irresistible Revolution. Its mostly about helping the poor, and living like the early church. I recommend it. Its really challenging. One of the themes in it, and so something I've been thinking about is, why don't we actually do what Jesus says? He says a lot of stuff that we definitely aren't doing.

Just for an example, I was thinking about saving money. We accept that as a general principle, saving money is a good thing to do, even an admirable or virtuous thing to do. It sure is logical, and prudent. But is it what we're actually supposed to do?

Luke 12:13-21 has a parable that Jesus tells about a rich man who builds big barns, stores up food, and then says "now I'll just eat, drink and be merry." Then God says to him "You fool, tonight you're going to die, then who will get all the things you stored up?" It ends with Jesus telling the moral: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

I don't know, maybe I'm reading it wrong. It could be that Jesus is saying don't store up unless you're ALSO giving a lot to God. But I think it is really talking about trusting God to provide every day, because in the very next part, Jesus says the stuff about not worrying because God also provides for the ravens and the lilies.

Can you imagine not having a savings account? What if every month, instead of putting money away for retirement, we just gave away everything we didn't need, and trusted God that even if we lost our jobs or couldn't work, he would still provide? Can you imagine getting to the end of that life and thinking "oh, nuts, I shouldn't have given that money away, I should have saved it." I think we'd be really happy at that point, not worried about what to do. And chances are, if we lived like that, we'd probably have people to take care of us in our old age.

In that book, I found this website that seems like a neat deal. relationaltithe.com I haven't explored it much, but I think its people helping each other out of their surplus. There's other things too, like groups that all put money in a collective pot to sort of be their shared health insurance. I recommend the book. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.

1 comment:

Carla said...

Hi Randy. I am really challenged by the "why save?" question that you propose, because of the book you're reading. Wow. It makes sense to me that God wants us to trust Him for everything - that's what makes our faith active and alive. Thanks for sharing.