Bleeding Green

Scratch below the surface and one will discover that just about all churches bleed green. No, they are not environmental enthusiasts; they bleed the older green, the type that has defined civilization since the time of Nimrod. Greenback is another slang that most churches would not wish to be associated with. But there it is. Churches need money, spend money, and like all people and organizations, can’t live without it.

The hard reality is that everything costs money. Life is expensive. Just ask new parents who are spending what was once going-out money on diapers and formula. Spending money on others is hard work. It takes intentional effort not to to spend it on yourself. Window shopping can be a painful experience. Seeing the things you really want but having the discipline not to buy it – even better, using that money in a way that gives someone else what they want, even when those things generate zero interest on your part.

Oh, but there is the rub. Using money on what blesses others. Church life, at least as defined by the Bible, is about learning to follow Christ. Christ followed the Father, and in so doing He was obliged to spend a tremendous amount of capitol on others – even others who violently reject Him. Of course His currency was His blood – and he spent it all, giving it freely away to those who would become eternally rich by His offering.

I don’t like to part from by greenback. Most churches don’t like to either. I suspect that Jesus was not too fond of being parted from His blood. In fact, the Bible tells us that He pleaded with His Father to take that cup from Him. The Father declined. Jesus spent it all. We are saved.

Why do we find it so hard to spend on others? We sometimes cling to our money as though it were our blood. The funny thing though, the Bible indicates that when we freely give away, the more we receive. In fact, the investment strategy of the Bible is very different from that of the world. The world says, build and save. God says, give it away. When we do, God replaces what was given. When we invest in others, God promises we will receive a return. But when we save for ourselves we seem to have a diminished return. Maybe we should view our money like Jesus view His blood – as a blessing to others?

Hum, maybe we should bleed green? If my money is your blessing, then what am I saving it for? And if God seeks to replace what I use to bless others, what am I afraid of? I won’t go hungry or homeless. I may have to sacrifice something, but … well, Jesus bled for me. Praise God for all those who have bled for me!

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