March 8, 2018
Volume 22, Number 10
What would you do if a million dollars fell into your lap? Many fantasize over such an unlikely prospect. Dreams of new houses, fine cars, exotic vacations, and extravagant parties come to mind when thinking of all that might be done with newfound money.
A million dollars didn’t fall into Chuck Feeney’s lap, but his business ventures have amassed about $8 billion. He’s one of those who seem to be born with a head for business, and his investments have produced well. For the last three decades, though, Chuck has had no property to call his own. He lives modestly in a rented apartment.
No, this is not a story about tragic loss; it was a decision Chuck made in 1984 to set up a foundation to be a clearinghouse for his wealth. Colleges and causes throughout the world have been blessed by his generosity. In 2003 he put into place a policy called “giving while living”. His money won’t be doled out in small percentages after his death; it will all be gone by the time he passes.
When asked why he has taken this approach to wealth, Chuck replied: “It’s a lot more fun.” He remembers the humble circumstances in which he was raised.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Most of us recognize those as words of Jesus, found in Acts 20:35. We’re not sure why Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John didn’t include those words in their gospels, but we’re mighty thankful Paul used them as he encouraged the Ephesian elders to “support the weak”.
Some have been blessed to earn more money than they actually need. (In truth, a lot of us could probably raise our hands to that one!) But what to do with that surplus? Must it all be spent on ourselves?
Peter pointed us to the better way of life: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). A steward is one who is entrusted with another person’s goods; in our case, we are using what God has “loaned” to us. Can we look at our blessings as entirely our own? Or should we not seek ways to use our goods to bless the lives of others?
Paul encouraged Christians in his time to contribute toward the relief of their brethren in Judea. “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7). Share with others, Paul said, and do it with a glad and generous spirit.
That actually sounds like Chuck Feeney’s attitude: “It’s a lot more fun.”
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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