Listen to the commentary
2022: What a great year! At our house, leukemia moved in last January and demanded our attention. Alongside that medical emergency, the public markets went stark-raving in Q1 and are still in shambles. At the same time, war has waged within the DC Beltway and across the regions of Ukraine.
With the daily despair of the headlines from so many fronts, the neighborhoods that command our culture’s attention are bleeding red and singing the blues. Dow Jones drop-downs and government shut-downs have put everyone on edge. People who are tracking the indicators – and listening to the prognosticators – are at risk of shifting from pessimism to panic, based on the last opinion offered before the commercial break. How is 2022 ending, for you?
The Christmas weekend gave Cheri and me a chance to do some catching-up. I was tempted to go to the websites where the status of our retirement account(s) gets updated daily. I knew how that would go: we’re at the age/stage where our peers are living on-the-edge!
Instead, we aggregated the reports of activity in the account that matters most: Tracking the donations/ investments we’ve made in the Kingdom this year changed everything. Receipts indicate transfers from our earthly accounts, to our eternal accounts. Our stewardship efforts are the far more important indicator of 2022 and its high-points than any other metric we can access.
For us, this has been a banner year. Most track bank balances; a few are current on their net worth; the smallest percentile of our peers use their Kingdom giving as the category to track with greatest importance. That’s the indicator we use to measure significance, where it matters most. Our goal over the last 20 years has been pretty simple: each year, increase our giving, both in dollars and in percentage of income. Using that formula, 2022 has been great: we were able to get money out of the destined-to-decline environment (the world markets) and transfer it into the place where gains are promised, at levels beyond imagination (that’s God’s Kingdom, where 100x returns are real).
How has this year been, for you? It isn’t polite or prudent for me to ask you about your income, or about your net worth… but asking about your active stewardship of time, talent, influence and resources is what God has assigned to me; it’s at the core of my Calling. Is the volatility of the modern economy caused you to decrease, or increase, your generosity?
We’ve heard it too frequently; I wish we were hearing it as if for the first time. Jesus gives the most important and informed financial planning advice ever offered: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Jesus counsel, cited in both Matthew 6; Luke 16)
The cut-off for 2022 – for transfers, from earth to heaven – is the 31st. Don’t miss the chance to show the God of Heaven that you trust Him more than the financial forecasters who ride the markets but have missed the ultimate opportunity. Is Jesus’ tip – to invest with Him – reliable, or questionable?
We’re soliciting funds as ‘22 ends that will fund our start of ‘23, helping leaders like you to clarify and emphasize their Kingdom Calling: to change the world and to build God’s Kingdom. If you’d like to grow your net worth in stable – and thriving! – Kingdom markets, click here.
You can use your credit card, or mail a check dated in 2022. Fully deductible, here; fully engaged, there. My promise: 100 years from now, you’ll be really glad you did!