Jason is a member of Grace Protestant Reformed Church in Standale, Michigan. He wrote this article for senior writing at Covenant Christian High School.
John was a Christian young man who had just started his first job. The first week went great and so did the second. Toward the end of the second week of work, all John could think about was getting his paycheck. He knew that he was a spender; those new shoes were calling out his name, and that shiny new wakeboard at MC Sports looked very tempting. The following Tuesday, John received his check and tried to decide what he was going to spend it on. John figured he would put thirty dollars in the bank and spend the rest. He had totally forgotten about God, who is the One that had given him everything he had. John did not even give God’s church a few dollars. Many young people fall under the impression that they are only young once and that they need to have fun and spend their money; but this is not being a good steward with money.
Sit back and think about what you have spent in the last few weeks for your own personal benefit. You may have bought a hockey stick, shoes, make-up, candy, gas, and the list goes on and on. One thing that many have to deal with is going out to eat. Some people go out to eat once a day, and others go a couple of times a week. This can get expensive and is not the Christian way to use your money.
Picture yourself with your friends on a Friday night. You go to Red Lobster, and then to Strikers for some mini-golf. You spent anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. Then Sunday rolls around, and you put a dollar or two in the collection plate. Is that being a good steward of your money?
Some young people have a lot of bills and expenses that they must pay. They have to pay for tuition, a car, insurance, books, and still need some money to spend and put in the collection plate. This is a tough situation to be in. In this situation the question to ask yourself is, what are your priorities, and who gave you all that you have? A Christian’s priority should be the church and schools that we attend. Giving starts with God—then yourself if there is any left over.
Whether one dollar or one hundred dollars, we are to give all we can to the benefit of God’s kingdom. In Mark 12:41 and following, we read of the poor widow who gives two mites to the church. The disciples and others around did not think that the widow gave very much to the church. Then Jesus tells his disciples, “That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” This widow gave all that she owned, and we often find it hard to give up even a few dollars.
For some it is best to set a specific amount to give. Doing this will prepare them for later life when they are required to give, and it will keep them from becoming lazy in their giving. The Old Testament gives a good guideline for our giving. In Leviticus 27:30-32, it teaches that everything is the Lord’s, and we are to give a tenth part of all we receive. As Christians we are to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,” (Matthew 22:21). A tenth of all that we earn is not very much at all. If you make one hundred dollars, giving ten dollars in the church collection plate will not hurt.
We are not to be as John and spend our paycheck mostly on ourselves. Spending some of it once in a while is not bad; it is spending in excess that is not right. As Christian young people we are to remember that God has given us everything that we possess, even His own Son. We are to live knowing that God has given us everything we need and being good stewards of what God has given to us.