June 2017 Good $ense Newsletter: Looking at Stewardship with New Eyes
Dear Good $ense Friends,
Recently, I found myself sitting in the patient chair of a new optometrist. For the last 16 years, I have visited a cornea specialist once a year. An accident with my contact lenses caused me to lose much of my vision in my left eye during my freshman year of college. That was painful for many reasons.
First, a major shift in my identity. I had always worn glasses only as a break from contacts; however in an instant I was no longer able to use contacts but now had to wear glasses each day to see. Second, my brain had to shift gears and start to use my much weaker right eye to compensate for the loss of vision in my left eye. This was a process and a tiresome adjustment for my brain.
Over time, this became my new normal. I simply wore glasses from the time I rose to the time I slept during all of my day to day activities, switching to prescription sunglasses for any outdoor time like driving or exercise. Each year during my visit, my doctor would say my eyes were healthy and strong; however contacts were not an option to chance my eyes being damaged again.
This year, I tried a new optometrist closer to my home. Completely to my surprise, the new optometrist said my eyes were healthy enough to try contacts. In fact, new contacts were available to fit my needs. This was once again a major shift. It took me several minutes to digest what he had said. For 16 years, I had anticipated and expected that I would never again wear contacts and that was completely okay with me. Now, I was hearing something new, something different. I would not be able to regain much vision; however, my eyes were in a much better position to allow contacts as part of my daily routine. Incredibly simple, yet profoundly impactful. My habits and patterns of everyday life would shift. My identity would change, I might not recognize myself. My family, especially my young children, would take more time to recognize Mommy. Now two weeks in, I am starting to recognize myself, my brain is adjusted and I am amazed at this new found opportunity for my sight.
Isn’t that the same with life…especially ministry? We can keep doing the same thing year in and year out. Then we get connected with someone new who pushes our thinking, maybe even shifts our perspective in a way we did not expect? The outcome is better, sometimes stronger than expected.
Perhaps you have facilitated stewardship courses for many years or maybe this is your first run. We change and our congregation members change. We live more life, experience more and need to relearn or shift our thinking. The principals in biblically based stewardship do not change, but the beauty of God’s design in teaching us about financial freedom is this is not a one and done experience. It is so much more! A lifetime journey, diving into the Bible to learn the matter of who we serve (Matthew 6:21), where our heart is in regards to money (Matthew 6:24) and what the love of money can lead to (1Timothy 6:10).
As we enter into summer, this is a perfect time to review the Good Sense Movement resources. Remember, just like my vision loss and vision regain experience, setting the time aside to truly review the materials before ministry kick off is essential. Perhaps God will give you a simple but impactful moment or shift in your thinking.
Dive into Freed-Up Financial Living to find a 6-week course focused on the basics of earning, giving, saving, debt and spending all communicated in a compelling and grace-filled approach. Consider spending time learning more about Freed-Up in Later Life, Freed-Up from Debt and Raising Financially Freed-Up Kids. Time spent reading and learning is never wasted. I pray that God will reveal something new to you
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