After all the work we’ve put in to raising her, at the ripe age of 8 my daughter has began her career as a white collar criminal. Dipping her hands into the till of our family money.
In a moment of courage, my wife and I allowed our daughter to go on her first outing with someone other than family. It’s a nerve jarring moment for parents. How will she behave? Is the family she’s with safe? What if she gets lost?
Ultimately, we’ve decided that our kids are not just our charges to protect and train up. But they are integral parts of our mission team. There are some families, some people, some places that our kids have more of an opportunity to represent Christ to than we do as parents. Our kids are kingdom ambassadors.
So with fear and trepidation we deployed her.
We equipped her with money designated to give to the adult to pay for the outing, and a little pocket change for incidentals, food, a souvenir etc.
When our daughter came back with an armful of goodies from the souvenir shop, we immediately knew what happened.
Misappropriated Family Money
Our daughter was convinced by the friend she went with, that her mom was happy to pay and didn’t need the money we had explicitly told her to give to the adult. She was free, according to her friend, to spend the money on a souvenir for herself, and of course something for her friend..
My daughter was given a portion of our family money for a specific task. But instead of using the money for its designated purpose she bought something shiny.
After a tearful confession, I resolved myself to dole out some discipline.
Perhaps you’re like me. In those moments of self-righteousness, where I begin to engage in my sacred task of correction towards my daughters, God likes to speak.
“Don’t you do the same thing?”
How many years? Dollars? Opportunities? Have I misappropriated?
How many times have I spent my Heavenly Father’s ‘family money’ meant to provide for my mission. meant to bless another, or meant to invest in someone else’s mission? Instead, I squander it on something shiny.
How many hours (years?) have I spent building my kingdom, betraying my mission mandate, for the sake of my own success, my own comfort, my own pleasure?
My daughter misappropriated family money.
Specific funds, given for a specific purpose, handled differently than intended.
She betrayed her mandate as a steward of MY money.
It was never hers, she was simply the carrier.
But I do the same thing.
There’s Always Money for the Mission
I find myself too often, waiting for my ‘ship to come in’ so I can ‘do that thing for God’. Once I get X in my bank account, or I pay off Y, once I’m financially independent, or I get the business off the ground, then I’ll be free from the worries of this world to go after that calling.
The problem with this mindset is; I never feel safe. I never feel done. The trick and lie of the devil, is that even though you may walk down a path of wealth accumulation with the best of intentions, you never arrive. The peak at the top is empty. The end never comes. The longer the devil can get you chasing money, the less time you’ll have to be on mission. And that’s a win for the enemy.
When you think about it, waiting for God to give you what you need is pretty silly. Isn’t it?
God gave us Jesus.
He gave us his son. He brought us into the family.
Why would he withhold His ‘family money’? Partners? Supporters? Skillsets?
How much more precious is Jesus than any of these things?
God already gave his most precious son, for the redemption of you and the world.
And everything in the earth is His.
Would He withhold $100? $1,000? $1,000,000?
I don’t think so.
Sometimes we spend the family money, and time and skills on things other than the Mission God has for us.
Don’t think you have money for your mission? You can find $100/mo right here.
We Still Have to Do the Work
The money for the mission is there. Called to ministry? God will provide your income. Called to start a business. God can bring the clients. Called to start a non-profit, or change careers? God will bring the partners that you need.
But you still have to go.
You still have to look.
God can provide income through a job.
He can provide skills through training and education.
He can bring clients through marketing, networking and good ole fashioned hard work.
Waiting for God to give you everything you need for the mission before stepping out, although it sounds like faith; is really doubt.
These require going, even though you’re not sure at the moment of departure that you’ll have what you need.
Is it possible you haven’t seen the financial miracle because you haven’t put yourself in the position to need it?
Is it possible that the calling God has for you has turned into a method of self-gratification?
I know for me, I reached a point of repentance, where I had to be honest about the last ten or so years of my life. I knew what God had called me to, but chased after what I ‘needed’ in order to get it done. Instead of chasing after Him.
There’s nothing that says I wouldn’t have done practically the same thing. But the heart would have been different. The motives would have been pure.
We need to start taking the next step towards the mission God has called us to and trusting that what we need will be there, and then we need to make sure that we actually use it for the mission, not our own self gratification.
I’ve misappropriated funds, and I’ve wasted time. But the good news is I serve an infinte God. One that can turn all the wasted time into a blessing, one who can open up his wallet and find an extra $20 when I misappropriate it. But first I have to ‘change my mind’ (repent) and realize what I’ve done.
Instead of looking at the sky, waiting for God to give us what we need. Perhaps we should look at our wallets, our calendars and our investments and see what we already have. Have we misappropriated funds and talents God has given us?
Are we Kingdom ambassadors or Kingdom embezzlers?
The choice is ours. And it’s never too late to repent.
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