by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
It doesn’t take long listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio program or podcasts before you realize his purpose is to share “God’s and grandma’s ways of handling money.” Perhaps you have read his best-selling book “The Total Money Makeover” and understand the concept of “living like no one else so later you can give like no one else.” Maybe you have completed his “Financial Peace University” course and practiced “gazelle intensity” as you plow through his seven baby steps toward financial peace. Or you could be one of Crosshill Christian’s upperclassmen taking his “Foundations of Personal Finance” course for high school credit, becoming aware of the common pitfalls of credit cards and other preventable debt. While there may not be consensus on Dave Ramsey’s people skills and investment strategies, there is no debate about the large number of people his teachings have rescued.
Our children are growing up in a consumer-driven, ad-infested, get-what-you-deserve culture. I applaud the invention of the DVR (TiVo) for its unintended benefit of virtually removing all commercials from a household (when the remote is in the hands of an expert user). What other “inventions” need to be inserted into our homes and daily lives?
During the month of January, the school will focus on the character trait of generosity. Generosity is carefully managing resources so that a person can freely give to those in need. Students will be challenged to learn how to save not just so they can spend on themselves later, but also so that they can spend on others later. Generosity is not just about preparation, but also about developing initiative to find those moments to give, expecting nothing in return.
A book that had a significant impact on my life is titled “Money, Possessions, and Eternity”, authored by Randy Alcorn. Among other things, he outlines how the recent inventions of insurance, retirement portfolios, and government welfare often become convenient substitutes for faith. When all contingencies have been considered and prepared for, the tendency to depend on God decreases, and the tendency to depend on yourself and your stuff increases. How can we combat this imminent growth of personal pride?
The answer is to practice generosity. Giving of our time, energy, and resources reminds us that all we have comes from God and belongs to Him. It helps us live a lifestyle of an “open hand” rather than a “clenched fist”. As we stretch ourselves to give beyond the comfortable cultural norms, we also are given the opportunity to trust in God and grow our faith.
Where does one start? Begin by having daily conversations with God about how He wants you to use the resources He has given you. Historically, only around 5% of evangelical Christians regularly tithe. The conversation on tithing has already been started in God’s Word and is a wonderful place to start. The heart of generosity is just that...the heart. God and His church are not short on resources. He owns it all. The business of soft hearts sold out to him often suffers. Generosity points the heart of the giver and even the receiver back to the ultimate Giver. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). As we practice and teacher our children to become more like Christ, let us remember that it all starting with generosity.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent