This is a tough question to answer because it is different for every person, but I like to think that the answer for most of us should be “a lot”.
The reason shouldn’t be to squander as much money as we can in our lifetimes, but should be to be good stewards with what we’ve been entrusted and help advance God’s Kingdom. If we really understand that all of “our” money is really not “ours”, but God allowing us to manage it for Him, it really changes the perspective of things.
And if we consider it all in light of eternity, I would much rather, “store up treasures in heaven,”(Matt 6:20) rather than down here for a very brief 100 years.
Christians need more in order to give more
Personally, I want to earn a whole lot of money over the course of my lifetime and see how many lives can be blessed by it. As I am starting to mature a bit, buying stuff just doesn’t create the thrill it used to. How much better would it be to use that cash to spread the message of the gospel, to love those who don’t know what love is, and to meet needs that need to be met.
Money and a heart
I read this quote over at the wisdom journal the other day…
No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.
–Lady Margaret Thatcher
While it is true that you can do tremendous things to help people when you are broke, it is also true that money (when used wisely) can be used to amplify the effect. As I was reading over the parable of the Good Samaritan I noticed that the most important thing he did, didn’t require much money. He helped bandage his wounds and took care of him for a day.
But the next day he paid someone to take care of him until he returned. Not much different than paying someone’s hospital bills – right? What if he had been lazy with his work the previous 10 years? Do you think he would have had the extra cash to pay for someone’s medical expenses?
Personally, I take this as a challenge to get myself out of debt and to get ready for opportunities to give. If the Good Samaritan would have been living paycheck to paycheck, he probably wouldn’t have been able to pay for the bandages, let alone the extended medical care.
Getting ready for the opportunity
We all know that the Love of money is the root of all evil, but on the other hand I have written before about how not making the most of what God has given us is a dangerous place to be as well. For me this has meant becoming a diligent steward of my money, paying off debts, working hard at my job/career, and asking God to provide more seed for the sower! Like I said at the beginning, the answer is different for everyone – but I encourage you to always strive to maximize your gifts to benefit God’s Kingdom. Remember, the Good Steward was presented with the opportunity when he was ready for it. I wonder what opportunities lie ahead for us as we get ourselves ready?