The term Creative Accounting is (rightly) synonymous with dodgy, explotative, bending the real truth about personal or corporate finances.
But what if we were able to redeem the idea that how we account/use our money/ view our money could actually be a source of tremendous good and an opportunity to be creative and generous?
All this week on 4 thought tv they have been asking the brilliant but loaded (no pun intended) question of Is it right to ask God to make us rich? A brilliant and thought provoking set of films on our attitude to money, riches and the great debate of whether wealth and acquiring resources is a good thing or not? In the Bible 1 Tim 6:10 states that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil… However it appears that money itself is not evil, but the love of it and desire to make it the master of life that is so wrong.How we use money and view it is a really important aspect of the outworking of Christian Faith and creates some great opportunities to enable us to practice generosity, hospitality and to arguably use our skills to reinvest money well.
Personally, like the Sabbath principle from my post a couple of days ago, I think it is dangerous and frankly wrong to expect us to use the finances we have in a way that is to prescriptive. However its also clear to me that generosityand using money well is important. After all the money we do have is not really ours but God’s (Psalm 24:1). But the ways in which this can be done are numerous and should be celebrated and understood rather than being all to quickly dismissed.
Like many issues with Money there are some complex and tricky dilemma’s. But there is also a lot of scope and opportunity to put generosity and creativity to good use with the money that we do have.
There are some good examples of how this is being done. Transforming Business is a research and action based initiative that believes in the impact that business and entrepreneurship can have on society and in reducing poverty. The Simple Way is a movement that’s quite akin to the early Christian church (Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4: 32-35) where they make sure that people in need can be supported and that an almost alternative form of economics are in operation. Both I believe have their validity and relevance in today’s world.
But for me as I embark upon this step of my journey its more simple: Although having said that, Its actually really hard! As a family how do we spend, invest, practice generosity and creativity in its truest sense with the finances God has given us? Could we do more? How do we simply avoid the mentality of ‘doing our bit’ and making sure we keep reviewing our decisions and being willing to be creative and generous. Its a challenge but one that I’m very willing to explore in this and no doubt other stages in this 2012 Journey.