Rich? Yes Please…

house of moneyYesterday was Black Friday and I got up at 3:20am so I could go shopping and get everyone I loved something really special. I want to briefly give you my Philosophy of Money and Spending:

I give more to the Lord than I can “afford” and then I spend the rest blessing those really special people in my life that have already given so much.

You can’t take a dime with you into eternity, and what good is there in trying to hoard as much money to yourself as you can because “you want to live comfortably in retirement” or “just in case”. Retirement means your work is done – and a faithful Christian walk never ends until our last breathe is breathed. It’s an orientation; a lifestyle; a paradigm of understanding that is totally countercultural to what mainstream (as there are two types of mainstream – secular and religious) tells us. And when lived to the fullest, you’re not able to retire from it because it’s too ingrained, too normal to you, too much a way of life.

Our Kingdom Priorities are messed up because they are so inward focused. Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”; and then to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Where your heart and priorities are, that is also where your money goes. So mine goes to God first, and then to my loved ones next with very little left over – not because I spend so much but rather because what little I do make is given or spent on my top priorities. Is it any coincidence that right after Jesus tells everyone the two greatest commandments, He illustrates it with this.

Rich to me might not mean rich to you, but you better believe I’m fully rich in how I live my life. Scary? Extremely. But the strange part is that I’ve never been more content in my entire life.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    I didn't go out looking for sales, but I also didn't not shop for anything yesterday. I took advantage of my day off and did some online shopping for some family members and then got a few things at the mall like socks and soda.

    My biggest complaint with Black Friday comes from consumers going nuts over store bargains. I haven't heard of anything this year of customers trampling over other customers or store employees like I have in past years, though I did read a local news story about a man getting into a fist-fight over a Christmas tree purchase. In my mind, there are no purchases or bargains that justify harming one's fellow wo/man.

    But I also don't think it's the worst thing in the world for someone to go shopping for their friends or family members on Black Friday or any other day. Especially if you can afford it and aren't going into debt for those purchases.

  • pm

    Actually, there are 10 more verses after Mark 12:31
    until Jesus spoke about the poor widow in verses 41.
    32 thru 34 finished up the conversation with scribe.

    35 thru 37 detailed how He began to teach about the
    Scribes. What do the Scibes say about the Christ?
    And from where does the Son come from? Finally,
    38 thru 40 He issued His warning: “Beware Of The Scribes”

    Jesus contrasted His conversation with the first
    scribe against the general group of the Scribes. The
    first scribe sought out Jesus about how He would
    elevate the most important commandments with the
    inward intention to keep God’s love foremost in front
    of all things. Elevated Conversation In Love Thru
    Relationships.

    When Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was very
    close to the first scribe it was because that scribe had
    correctly put aside all of the cultural bias and deceptions.
    That scribe had concluded God’s love was superior to all,
    even better than the Temple sacrifices.

    On the other hand, Jesus described the outward profile
    and practices of the group of the Scribes. Scribes who
    seek out the best things for themselves so as to promote
    themselves as superior were far from the Kingdom of God.

    How To Receive Greater Damnation:
    (a) Love Clothing As Looking Successful Above Inner Heart
    (b) Love Social Networking For Marketplace Advantages
    (c) Love Top-Billing & Best Of Everything At Events
    (d) Love Private & Exclusive Hospitality Suites At Events
    (e) Love Flipping Residential Properties From Needy Widows
    (f) Love Lengthy Politically-Correct Prayers As Genuine Spirituality
    (g) Only Give Whatever You Don’t Need (Or) It’s Excess Supply

    Obviously, this short list is to be perceived and understood from
    the vantage point of His judgment against those who do such
    things.

  • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

    PM – I think your conclusion is another great illustration of what it means to live a countercultural Christian life – one that can’t help but permeate one’s existence. The funny part for me is that today, such a life is considered countercultural, even though I believe such a life is the original intent that Jesus taught and laid the groundwork for us to live within.

    The broader point to this post however, was that my version of ‘rich’ might not be other people’s version. That is not a judgement statement, but an example into my own life and understanding. This post was prompted because yesterday, Black Friday, I saw on Twitter and Facebook over and over and over, the same thing that I think gives the wrong picture of Christendom: “Don’t give in to a consumeristic culture that says today is the day to spend when others don’t have any money – save it or give it away instead.”

    I fully understand where those people are coming from, all of whom are Christians. However, because people spend money doesn’t mean it’s unChristain. Quite the opposite from my perspective in light of Kingdom Priorities and accumulated wealth: I give more than I can “afford” to God and then the rest (not in accumulation or abundance) I spend in love to bless others as well. I feel that both of these are right in line with a contextualization of Black Friday (consumerism in general) with the two greatest commandments.

    What do you all think about consumeristic and spending priorities and accumulated wealth? I’m actually very curious to hear other’s own personal philosophy.
    :)

  • Kevin

    Loves it. I am definitely down with what you were writing about concerning giving more money away than is probably rational and spending on those that we love, but I have also been wrestling with how to best celebrate a religious holiday that has been obviously been co-opted into a reason for consumerism on a mass level. Granted I probably do not have any right to speak this year as I have went away from planning “get to know you more” type activities or creating/making meaninful gifts to buying gifts for my family. Gifts aren’t necessarily a bad thing as long as our focus is just as much on making a priority to spend time with family and celebrate the things that money can’t buy, but I guess I have become more comfortable with trying to buy those gifts at other times during the year to try to not feed into the commodication of our savior’s birth. In light of the fact that our savior was born into a land torn by genocide as a homeless refugee, it is important to make sure that our purchases do not function as acts of aggression towards the economic losers and oppressed of the world if we do decide to buy gifts. Meaning that we should be careful to buy fair trade products that were made in satisfactory working conditions where the workers were paid a fair living wage to make sure that our celebration does not contribute to sweatshops, child labor, etc.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to infuse guilt or drag down Christmas at all as I’m realizing that might have been a little heavy and wrapped in idealism, but I’m just trying to get to the best things that we can give for Christmas are those things that cannot be wrapped and placed under a tree.

    Also this post made me think of Black Friday and what some refer to as “Buy Nothing Day.” Below is a clip (from last year) that features Shane Claiborne and others in Philadelphia. It could also probably relate to the posts you did earlier regarding protest. As you talked about mainstream forms of protest becoming worn out as the methods/mediums are used over and over, this is a small example of attempting to reawaken their imaginations with creativity while pointing to what is really important instead of only being against something (although the latter part is still present).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W5t_VeoxZA

  • Kevin

    but my last comment might have gotten a little off the main topic, so I’ll say that I definitely agree with some of the thoughts you listed on being rich and on the use of money.
    Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” And even though I am still working on getting my head around that verse and its implications (and will most likely never be able to do so completely) it is a good reminder that our money and all of our resources belong to God. God is merely entrusting us with a little of what ultimately belongs to God and giving to others and spending on those that we love is in one aspect an exercise in recognizing that it was never truely ours in the first place. To paraphrase what you mention, living in this way with the intention of showing our love in tangible ways to God and others is fullfilling the two greatest commandments that Jesus gave us (at least in one way) which leads to being rich in the way that we live our life.

  • http://www.thinkgrowrich.net think and grow rich

    Since we are writing about Rich? Yes Please…, with the number of existing scams these days, it may be rather tough to trust an opportunity when you obtain one. Some will promise you thousands of dollars every month for a minimal fee but end up going incognito once you make that investment.


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