I was a typical “hands off” supporter of Miracle Hill Ministries for many years. You know, the kind of supporter who gives money fairly regularly because I know Miracle Hill does a great service to our community. But my involvement stopped there. My attitude started down a different path about four years ago when my firm had the opportunity to sponsor country singer Jimmy Wayne as the keynote speaker at the annual banquet. His inspiring message about the need for more and better foster care helped convince me that Miracle Hill was needed now more than ever!
The following year, a friend of mine nominated me to serve on the Board of Directors. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I accepted the opportunity. Oftentimes, when you become an “insider” to an organization, you find out things that you wished you had never known. What a breath of fresh air that the more I learned about Miracle Hill, the more impressed I became with the mission and the great staff who fulfill that mission.
Being a good steward of resources is what I’ve devoted my life to. As a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director for the Private Wealth division of Ronald Blue Trust in Greenville, SC, I have ample opportunity to see how money used well can bring tremendous blessing or how mismanaged resources can lead to broken relationships and deep regret. Here’s something to think about:
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How much is enough”? A number of years ago I was working with a client on his retirement plan projections. At the time, his investable assets were less than $1 million. I can still hear him telling me that when he reached the 1-million-dollar mark, he would feel comfortable that he had enough to retire. A few years later he and his wife came in for their regular review and we were able to tell him that they had indeed reached that 1-million-dollar milestone and he could comfortably retire. Almost immediately, he responded that he now thought that he wouldn’t feel comfortable about retirement until he had 2 million dollars. Can you see where this is going? You guessed it, when he reached 2 million, his comfort level increased to 3 million.
Several years later, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. However, instead of feeling even more insecure, he amazingly committed to giving away 1 million dollars to Parkinson’s research. This gift is in addition to contributions he and his wife are making to their church and other ministries—what a change of heart! Planning helped him know how much was enough.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So, the answer to the question of “how much is enough” is simple: whatever amount God has blessed you with right now. Does that mean you shouldn’t save for the future? Absolutely not! The Bible is very clear about making sure you provide for your family. It’s all in your attitude about money, not the amount.
Guard Against Greed
The Bible is also very clear that everyone of us will one day be held accountable for the way we stewarded His resources while on this earth. (Romans 14:12) I don’t want myself or any of my clients to stand before God one day and hear these words: I blessed you with more than you and your family needed, but instead of using it for my Kingdom, you hoarded it for your own comfort or spent it needlessly on more stuff that you really didn’t need. Luke 12:14 says, “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”
As you consider ways to steward God’s resources, here are some practical ideas:
- For non-IRA/401K investments, give assets with unrealized long-term capital gains instead of cash. This allows you to avoid paying taxes on the gain and still get to deduct the contribution on your tax return.
- For those over 70 1/2, make a Qualified Charitable Distribution.
- Make strategic use of a Donor Advised Fund.
More stewardship and tax saving ideas can be found at Talking Money Radio. I also encourage you to visit Miracle Hill’s legacy giving page to learn more about this faithful ministry and seek God’s guidance to see if Miracle Hill is a ministry that He would have you support.
God is very clear in His Word when He says in Acts 20:35, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”