Our Core beliefs
How Did We Get Here?
The following four beliefs challenged us and forced us to think critically about the decisions we were making. It is through reflecting on these concepts that we came to the decision to commit to living at a percentile.
We Are Managers, Not Owners
Have you ever seen a toddler say to their parent, “But it’s MINE!”? I have 3 kids and I’ve always found that phrase funny. When it really comes down to it, we all know that everything belongs to mom and dad.
The fact is, we spend most of our life saying the same to God. Everything belongs to God. Any wealth that comes through our hands comes only because He said so.
When you think about your life and finances, consider the idea that God has appointed you as a manager for a portion of his assets. Out of the wealth that God has entrusted you, however big or small, what are your operational costs? How much of God’s wealth do you take out for your own wants and needs and how much do you invest in His Kingdom?
God Created Everything: God created everything. There is nothing that does not belong to Him, including our money.
God Controls Everything: Every cent that comes through our hands arrives by the grace of God alone. Despite how much control we think we have, everything could change in a second.
God Appoints Us as Managers: While everything belongs to God, He chooses to give us incredible freedom in how we manage it.
We Are Responsible: We are responsible for how we manage God’s wealth. Of course, we have our operational costs – our living expenses. But for some of us, those costs might be 100% of the wealth He entrusts to us.
God Doesn’t Need Our Money
We serve an immensely powerful God – the God who literally spoke life info creation, the God who held back the Red Sea so His people could walk across on dry land, and the God who raised Christ from the dead to bring His people back to himself. Does He need a few thousand dollars from me or you to accomplish His will? No.
So why did Jesus spend so much of his time on Earth talking about money? It’s for us. God knows that money is one of the most powerful contenders for our hearts. He carefully and thoughtfully crafted each of us. And He loves us more deeply and passionately than we will ever understand. When God calls us to loosen our tight-fisted grip on our money, it’s only because He wants us to experience relationship with Him with the love and passion of a child looking up at their father or mother, whom they depend on for everything.
When we started down this path, we thought it was for the giving – for the impact we could have. But what we came to learn was that it was infinitely more about our relationship with Him and what He wanted to call us into.
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
There is a Bigger Story
When God entrusted us with His wealth, it was so we could be a part of the incredible, life-changing work He is doing among people all around us. He invites us to be a part of His story. But when our “operational costs” are nearly 100% (or more if you’re actively taking on debt!), then we trade many of the stories He’s invited us into for simple material things that we know can never bring us lasting joy.
When we commit to a percentile, there is always money set aside for God’s purposes. This opens our eyes to needs all around us. Rather than wish we could do something, we are able to jump right into action. However, if we don’t have the money set aside already, then we constantly have to weigh our needs against the needs of those we encounter.
Everything is About God: From the beginning of time, the story has always been about God. Every story in the Bible is about Him, not us.
He Invites Us In: God is constantly inviting us to enter into His story. The wealth He allows us to manage is meant for so much more than we tend to use it for.
Be Ready: By setting an objective limit to our spending, we always have a pool of funds set aside to act immediately when God extends us an invitation.
And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
We Are Easily Distracted
Given enough time, we’ve found that our hearts always tend towards selfishness. Even if we are passionate about giving for a while, that passion inevitably fades as we are tempted to use our wealth for other things. Without anything to check our hearts, we require constant redirection and re-conviction in order to give.
We sought a way to live our lives that allowed us to be more consistent and thoughtful in the way we managed the wealth God entrusted to us. Living at a percentile allows us to make the difficult decision upfront, one time. By linking our expenses to an objective limit, we eliminate much of our slow slide back into selfishness.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
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