Well … here we are fresh off of RRSP season, and though I’ve been a bit busy with the Mission’s Samaritan Project, see www.samaritanproject.ca for details, as promised in my previous blog, I think this is the perfect time to talk about the 3rd and final part of my blog series titled “God-nomics”. So, thanks for taking the time to hear what I have to say about God-nomics 301 today, with respect to these three topics: 1) Giving verses Receiving, 2) RRSP’s and your retirement plan, and lastly, 3) the Return on your Investment, or your real ROI.
Giving Verses Receiving:
Let me start by just saying that I’m a guy who likes getting gifts, but I’ve also learnt that I get a really good feeling when I do something good for someone, or when I know that I’m making a difference when I give something to someone else! Whether it’s a gift, money, my time and prayer, a kind word, a smile, it doesn’t seem to matter, because as it turns out in the end I always seem to get something back in return anyway. In Acts chapter 20 verse 35, Paul quotes Jesus as saying that it’s “more blessed to give than to receive.” I like this concept, and personally, I think there’s truth in it. I mean, after all if we all gave something away, wouldn’t we all be receiving too? And, though the scriptures do say that we’ll “reap what we sow” (Galatians 6:7-9), and I do like that way of thinking, its clearly evident to me that sometimes we receive even when we’ve giving nothing away! BUT, let me also say this; with respect to the principal of tithing, and knowing that this is the primary method that the ‘church of today’ uses to fund its operations, I am in no way suggesting that everyone give 10% to the church no matter what their financial situation is; meaning that it’s a lot easier to give $10,000 from a $100,000 salary than it is to give 10% of the paycheck from a minimum wage job, when your forced to make choices between paying the rent, the utilities, and/or buying food. The church as described in the Book of Acts openly shared what they had with each other! See Acts 2:42-45. Let God be the judge, but do we do this today?
RRSP’s – Your Retirement Plan:
Recently, I read that 60% of Canadians made annual contributions to their Registered Retirement Saving’s Plan, but surely that percentage must be significantly less when looking at a world population? Now, having said that, I will admit that I’m not only one of the 60%, I even have life insurance, but what is retirement suppose to look like anyway? Is that even a biblical concept given that we’re told not to worry about the needs of tomorrow? See Matthew 6:27-35. Is retirement supposed to be our way of ‘living happily ever after’? And, if you can actually put some money aside, is that supposed to be your reward for a life well lived? Just saying. So why is it that we as believers spend so much time focusing on the last few years of our life on earth, a mere spec (at best) on the time-line of eternity, when we should really be “investing” our resources and lives in light of the much bigger picture?
ROI – Return on Investment:
So now that we’ve established that your mutual fund contributions are going to take care of your future (insert sarcasm here), as a Christian what does the ultimate retirement plan look like? What have you been investing in other than the blue-chip stocks in your portfolio? Personally, I think that the answer to this question lies in deciding whether you actually believe Jesus when he said that “it’s more blessed to give than to receive”; see the first section of this blog, Giving verses Receiving. If you do, here’s what you can expect once you’ve lived out your time on earth:
- An amazing health plan. – ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’. – Revelations 21:4
- A home made just for you. – ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you’. – John 14:2
- An incredible city made of gold. – ‘The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.’ – Revelations 21:18
- Eternal life! – ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ – John 3:16
Now that is retirement!