3 August, 2021

Living with Open Hands

by | 11 February, 2014 | 0 comments

By Mark A. Taylor

The topic was consumerism, and I was ready with my questions for the three CHRISTIAN STANDARD writers who formed the panel at our Beyond the Standard BlogTalkRadio program last month.

Feb11_art_JNBut soon they took the conversation much deeper than my concerns about defining wealth and deciding how much of our money we should give away.

“Consumerism is a byproduct of bad thinking,” said E.G. “Jay” Link, head of Stewardship Ministries based in Mooresville, Indiana. “You can”t resolve the big issues of life simply by resolving to spend less. The basic issue is: I own nothing.”

Link set the tone for our discussion early in the program: “God owns everything. Christians acknowledge that, but we act as if we own what we own,” he said. “We are simply couriers for the good that God wants to give. I am merely a steward, responsible to use what I have for his purposes.”

Ryan Connor, pastor with Amity (Oregon) Christian Church, reminded us that wealth equals power for many. “But wealth is a blessing to be used for greater purposes than our power,” he said. “The Benedictines didn”t have a hang-up about wealth; they understood it to be a blessing,” he added. “We should think of ourselves as inheritors of a blessing so that we, too, can be a blessing.”

Janet McMahon, community life director for Restore Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, took that lesson to heart in 2013. She lived out a yearlong experiment to buy nothing for herself, and the money she saved freed her to bless others in ways she couldn”t have planned. “I didn”t realize how caught up in the culture I can be, with all the e-mails and magazines and ads,” she said. But when the response to each invitation to spend and buy was automatically no, “there was a real sense of freedom for me,” she said. “I didn”t have to measure up, be a certain way, do a certain thing, look a certain way.”

“One of the most pervasive lies is that having more stuff will make you happy,” Link said. “But the biblical message is that the more you give, the happier you”ll be.”

“I”ve seen so many people crushed by debt after spending money on things they don”t need,” Connor observed. They pursue “the lie that consumption will bring satisfaction.”

These three Christian leaders offered perspectives on spending to help each of us develop new ways of thinking about our material abundance. “I must live with open hands so that anything I have or have saved is available for God to use,” Link said. That”s a challenge I”m still pondering, even after leading and then listening again to this episode of Beyond the Standard.


Beyond the StandardThis hourlong discussion offered far more insights than I can review here. Listen for yourself and share this program with friends by logging on here. Meanwhile, the next Beyond the Standard program will be Thursday, February 20, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. James Estep and Teresa Welch will discuss biblical illiteracy and answer your questions about a problem your church can help to solve.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

How the Local Church Can Make a Difference in Foster Care

A ministry that serves the foster care system isn’t simple. The situations are complicated and the answers are never easy, but it’s been an incredible honor for Christ’s Church of Oronogo to be invited into families’ stories.

An Altar of Earth

We no longer sacrifice burnt offerings on an altar because Jesus came as the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins. But we should remember an old command as we come before God to worship him.

Aug. 8 | Which Righteousness?

Having called the Galatians back to the true gospel, defended his own apostleship, and having confronted Peter (i.e., Cephas), Paul begins to argue for the gospel of righteousness.

Aug. 8 | Application

A biblical text normally has a single meaning, but it can have many applications. Consider Galatians 2:20 . . .

Follow Us