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Four Principles to Guide Wealthy Christians

3. Be generous—don’t be miserly. The Scripture doesn’t teach equal distribution of wealth, but it does teach generosity to God’s kingdom and compassion for the needy. In most restaurants, generosity with a server is measured by a 15 percent standard for tipping. Anything less is an expression of poor service. Anything more is saying, “Thanks for doing more than expected.”

God’s standard of generosity in the Old Testament began with 10 percent. The New Testament instructs us to give as we’ve prospered. Anything less than a tithe communicates we feel cheated. Anything more is admitting we have received much more than we deserve. The more God has blessed you, the higher the percentage you should give away.

4. Enjoy what you have left over—don’t feel guilty. God gives us good things “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:18). If you give an expensive set of Legos to your children on Christmas, you want them to enjoy that gift. You don’t want the child to put the Legos on the shelf and never play with them. You don’t want them to feel guilty because they have more Legos than the child next door. You want to see them on the floor enjoying and sharing that gift. That gratifies you.

Enjoy God’s provision

Christians who have a biblical perspective of riches don’t need to feel guilty about driving a nicer car or apologize for participating in a Christmas dinner that’s more elaborate than some others. If we’ve earned our money honestly, given generously and trusted in God exclusively, we can enjoy the blessings God has given.

Years ago, I met Paul Meyer, who had a reputation for being the most generous man in the world. Meyer made millions in insurance and sales training. He put hundreds of needy teens through college and was a generous benefactor to many parachurch organizations. Toward the end of his life he was giving away 90 percent of what he earned and discovered he still had plenty to live on. If Paul Meyer owned a Lexus, I don’t think he should feel guilty that he wasn’t driving a 10-year-old pickup truck. I think he should be thankful that God had blessed him with riches for his enjoyment.

Adopting a balanced view of earthly riches may be one of the best Christmas presents you will ever receive.  

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bobrussell@churchleaders.com'
At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the four worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. Now through Bob Russell Ministries, Bob continues to preach at churches & conferences throughout the United States, provide guidance for church leadership, mentor other ministers and author Bible study videos for use in small groups.