“Wealth”: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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15 Responses

  1. Shhhh. Duane, I’m trying not to hear this right now.

    (Just kidding. This is exactly what the Lord has been bringing to my attention.)

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh,

    I think it is especially important in this era of celebrity and wealth…

  3. I agree. Even middle-income guys like myself tend to hold our money very tightly for security, rather than trusting in the true provider.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    #3 Josh,

    It’s funny, we’re doing a major purge of our home this summer (the result of being in the same place for 20+ years). We find ourselves giving away things that we once scrimped and saved to buy. I gives a perspective on possessions…

  5. Em says:

    As the dirty little secret of the increase of homeless people in this nation is, for some reason swept under the rug, unsolvable to date, I’m not sure that this lesson is quite the whole story….
    It is interesting tho that these people living in tents on the sidewalk – or worse – do have their hoard of ‘stuff,’ too…
    I guess, for me, the question is, where is the line between prudent living and dependence upon material things?

  6. Michael says:

    I think this may be the most important precept of the church militant…and it’s been lost in so many ways…

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I do this no better than anyone else, but 2 things I have done to keep myself grounded a little bit – 20 yrs ago I stopped reporting my charitable giving to the tax man. Fist it is my business alone how much I give and to whom. Second, I felt I was making the government my partner in giving as they would give me back 25% of my donations out of public funds.

    The other thing – and this may have been a Francis Schaeffer thing, I go to the dump probably once a month or so and remind myself of all the things people just had to have – even some lied, cheated or stole to get —- now just sitting in the dump.

  8. Em says:

    I remember some years ago receiving a phone call requesting a donation from a major Christian charity (not Samaritan’s Purse 😊 ). I explained that my giving was maxed out and that i couldn’t agree to send them money. As i recall the sum they wanted was fairly large. After some rather aggressive words on the part of the caller, she said, Well, i will pray for you that God will bless you with prosperity” and hung up.
    My daughter who is plugged in to some online twitters and facebooks tells me that they are having a heyday with duplantis’ call for donations to buy the latest and greatest private jet airplane because “he has God’s approval to get it.” Sadly, these unbelieving people define our Faith by these things.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    It is interesting that my millennial friends are much less driven to “accumulate stuff” compared to us boomers. On the other hand, boomers are more likely to give time and money to alleviate suffering…

    That’s an enigma.

  10. Michael says:

    I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few years.
    I’ve made a lot of decisions treasuring people over money…and I sometimes feel like a fool for doing so.
    Heaven will be the place where i find out if I walked in wisdom or emotion…not here.

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    #10 Michael

    God treasured us above his personal prerogatives… I think you’re in good company.

  12. Michael says:

    Duane,

    As you are as well…

    For me, the overarching umbrella of the Scriptures is sacrificial love…and I cannot claim Christ without it being mine.

  13. The New Victor says:

    Complex subject. “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

    I once handed a guy a dollar bill in the DC metro station (1995, IIRC). A transit cop who witnessed it came up to me and chastised me for showing bills. “Give change if you must, but we’ve had people stabbed for just a few dollars here. Never show paper money!”

    My mother was a hoarder, the other side of worshipping “stuff” (a mental addiction rather than conspicuous consumption). I and others, however, enabled this over the years, basically throwing money into the wind. She ended up losing property over $100k due to being a poor steward. Still, I gave when asked and when not… even when I ended up being bad-mouthed :^p

    Me? I’ve been faithfully putting into my retirement for 26 years, not buying much “stuff” driving cars well below what I could afford (and driving them for 8-10 years), so I’m doing ok. I give when the opportunity arises, but seeing
    how people can get taken advantage of, especially in regards to elder financial abuse, boundaries are good if it means not being homeless. The kids will get some kind of inheritance. If I were to follow the Early Church model, I suppose I could open up my home to a small family– despite my mom’s horrible experiences with doing that over the years (bless her heart for doing so), but my kids’ safety comes first.

    “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    New Victor

    It is complex, indeed, especially in the modern age. That being said, I think our “consumer society” of “the newest, the latest and the best” has harmed us, especially in the Church. Finding a balance is difficult…

  15. The New Victor says:

    Living in the Silicon Valley, it’s ground central for conspicuous consumption. Driving a 5 series Beemer, say, isn’t impressive, it’s normal. I’m trying to not spoil my kids and teach them well. I might be falling behind…

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