One fellow took care of his ailing parent only to ensure the security of his inheritance. A lady called nearly everyone in a small town to describe her husband’s onset of cancer, and then proceeded to explain to each one how much she would be suffering! A man divorced his wife for a younger woman and then wanted to know how he was supposed to maintain his preferred lifestyle with the financial burden of the divorce settlement. With some that I counsel in Legacy Planning, I find it hard to discern if the parent wants the children to walk with God for the child’s benefit or their own identity.
Self is no stranger to desiring a throne, crown, and scepter and using it as its footstool.
When you spend your entire life building a retirement or business or dynasty, it can be hard to see the temptation to think (through our hard works) we are responsible for the success and therefore worthy of praise. We have become a society of selfish Christians – and I am not excluding myself – wrapping our lives around ourselves and bedeviled by how every action we take (or that of others), affects our self-lives.
Each day the first person we touch, clothe, see in the mirror, feel comfort or physical pain from, feed, and emotionally sense is our self. Is it any wonder that the enemy would choose to make self a stumbling block? If each day starts with us, why not make the rest of the day the same obsession?
I work with people on a very intimate basis dealing with their money, families and legacy. When we get started, this is very easy for the couple because it is all about them: their money, their children, their vision and their legacy. When it is time to talk about giving and mission trips and instilling the right values of servant leadership the discussion can become heavy and burdensome and they tend to put it off. Why?
To meet others’ needs might necessitate neglecting our own!
We change the teaching of Christ to fit ourselves and only end up changing ourselves into something that is not a good fit. Here is the point:
- Life is not an endless exam administered by a demanding principal
- Life is not an endurance test.
- Life is not accumulating as much knowledge as possible.
- Life is not staring at our spouses with heart-shaped eyeballs.
- Life is not accumulating the most assets and money.
- Life is not being perfect parents, employees, employers, or pastors.
Life is meaningless and boring when it is wrapped around ourselves, draws attention to ourselves, and leaves us wondering at our condition.
Life is about glorifying God. John 12:28, “Father, glorify Thy name.’ There came, therefore, a voice out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’”
It is so tough to get our arms around the fact that despite all of our pains, trials, needs and desires, God wants us to focus on Life (Jesus), instead of those things. Nothing is bad if it drives us to true Life. This revelation will come to you only with a full surrender to Jesus and prayer and meditation every day. Through grace, we see this light and our lives become joyful no matter what happens – good or bad. Anything and everything that moves us close to Life is good. When we are saved, we are delivered from self!
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.