Q & A with Pastor Mark Haines

A place for heartfelt, honest answers to your questions from a caring pastor

How will we ever have enough to help the poor?

Many of us entered the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression with wild spending habits. As a whole, we were spending more than we earned. Most of us did not save anything. In the face of lower incomes, rising debts and prices, how can anyone ever expect get enough to take care of our families? And how can we help the poor if we can’t help ourselves?

I believe the largest difference between those who never seem to have enough and those who always have enough is not their bank account balances. The main difference is their attitude toward their bank account balances.

We tend to view bank account balances and mathematical formulas as the final statements regarding whether or not we have enough money. But we are children of the One who owns everything. We need to develop the attitude of contentment in all situations. It begins when we look up to heaven and thank God for what we have. That’s what Jesus did when he faced thousands of hungry people with only a sack lunch to feed them. “Looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.” (Matthew 14:15-21)

Our culture is driven by the desire to own more, to acquire the best, to earn more so we can buy more. We often act as if the cure for our greed is more money. If we have enough money then we will stop being greedy. However, the only way to overcome greed is with contentment. When we are satisfied with what the Lord provides, we have enough. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

We believe in God and we claim to follow Jesus, but we often trust our money and possessions for our security. We mistake our resources for our Real Source. Our security in life and eternity needs to be based on God’s promise to be our Provider.

It’s all about attitude. When we have enough we can share and if we follow Jesus we enjoy sharing with those in need. Having enough is all about attitude and not about our bank balances. There are three things we can do to develop that attitude.

  1. Every day we need to look up and thank God for what we have, trusting him to take care of what we don’t have.
  2. Every day we need to look up and be satisfied with what God provides.
  3. Every day we need to look up and praise God as we recognize he is our Source.

One response to “How will we ever have enough to help the poor?

  1. pastormarkhaines February 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Here are a few other ideas to help act out these developing attitudes. They are not steps but more like facets of a lifestyle of contented generosity’

    [1] Pay off all your debts.
    [2] Start to tithe (give 10% of) your income to your local church. It has been estimated that if all U. S. Christians tithed we could provide the basic food, health care and educational needs of the world’s poor with money left over.
    [3] Stop using credit cards and use cash for your purchases.
    [4] Give away or sell stuff you have not used in over 12 months.

    Can you help me think of more?

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