It may seem strange to say this, but money is the reason I’m a Christian.
“Wha-?!” I know, that’s your reaction. You’re either thinking I’m crazy – because for most people there is very little profit and wealth to be had in being a Christian. Or you are probably saying, “I knew Christians were all about money!”
And yet it’s entirely true, I am a Christian because of money. So let me explain…
Deciding to give money to a church was the single most important decision I have ever made. It was through that decision that God showed me who he was. It was through that decision that I became a Christian. It was through that decision I sit here at my computer typing out this post.
Of course I had no idea it would all turn out this way when I decided to make a financial commitment. At the time I didn’t really believe in God. I sort of thought maybe there was a god-like person out there. But he certainly wasn’t concerned about me. But for some reason I felt compelled to trust, and to give.
I vividly remember listening to this guy talk from a stage. It was dark, but there were thousands of people there, and you could hear them shuffling around. The guy from stage was talking about needing to build a bigger church so they could make room for their friends. He talked about God, and sacrifice, and blessings, and faith, and trust. Finally he asked us to pray. He asked us to listen for what God might want us to do with our money.
There was no pressure. No threat of damnation or condemnation. Just a simple request that we ask God what we should do – and that we follow through when God gave us his answer.
Prior to that moment I had only taken prayer seriously on a few occasions. And I’m not sure I had ever considered God might answer me! I had always assumed prayer was a one way event – I talk, he listens. So this was a new experience for me. As I sat there, aware of my surroundings, but also not, a number popped into my head. A big number. A number much bigger than I would have wanted to give. In fact, 3 times what I had planned on giving.
I had wanted to play it “safe.” Give just what I knew I could afford, but nothing that would prevent me from living a lifestyle that I wanted.
But this….this was risky. This was dangerous. As Erwin McManus says, I was hearing the Barbarian Call. If I went with this new number it was going to be a serious financial burden. It was going to impact my life. I wouldn’t be able to go out with friends as much. I’d have to cut back on a lot of things.
I can’t really say why I went with it, but I wrote that number down and turned it in. I found I was both terrified and relieved. I didn’t have that kind of money saved anywhere. I didn’t even make enough to cover the difference. I just trusted that the “voice” I heard was God, and not the burrito I had eaten for lunch. For the first time in my life I actually trusted God.
And that simple decision changed my life forever.
Slowly God used that simple act of trust to remind me of what he could do. He began to encourage me to trust him in other areas. And each time I trusted I was both terrified and relieved. Now whenever I reach a moment where I’m afraid to act, God reaches back and says, “remember when you thought that number was too big? Remember when you said, ‘I can’t do this’? Well, remember how I did it for you?”
There is nothing more encouraging than stepping out in faith and allowing God to lead you. Learning for certain that there is a God who cares about your life and your happiness is one of the most freeing experiences a person can ever have.
So that’s why money is the reason I’m a Christian.