What do you value?
Updated: Jan 20
Is it your legacy, death, wealth, comfort, security, family? All these things have surely played a part in how I've lived my life, spend my time and money, even what I've done and where I've gone.
Scripture says that your heart will be where your riches are. Makes sense. You spend money on what you value, and you value what you've invested in. You can easily tell on a short walk, those people who value their home as an investment, and those who value their home as merely shelter from the element. When I get into someone's car, I can tell if it's their "baby", or simply a mode of transportation.
The good news is that 76% of Canadians made a charitable contribution last year according to apfglobal.org . The average contributing Canadian donates $965 a year. Add to that the 23% of Canadians who volunteered last year, and it's quite the accomplishment. Understandably, volunteerism has dramatically dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic.
I found some interesting facts about the nearly $109.6 billion pet industry in the US on fortunly.com . Yes, that's billion with a B, and specifically in the USA. This is double what it was just ten years ago. Almost half of American pet owners spend as much on their pets' healthcare needs as they do on their own. $972 million was spent on dog walkers last year, yet about 60% of cats and 56% of dogs are obesely overweight. Maybe owners are buying too much pet food. Interestingly, pet apparel is the fastest growing category in the online pet market. My guess is that, relatively, the Canadian $7 billion industry is not far off from its American counterpart.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a pet hater, I have about eighteen fish in my pond. I feed them, sometimes talk to them, and even try to pet them. But I don't wish them to be my legacy.
As I get older, and closer to the end of my time in this world, I do think more about what I'm leaving behind. What do I value? Where do I spend my time and resources? What will my legacy, if any, be? Where are my riches? I can tell that I'm not the only one. The Canadian giving statistics also shows that people over 50 are the ones who are giving more regularly.
As far as my finances goes, I was challenged by a good friend, many years ago with Malachi 3:10, to give ten percent to the work of God's Kingdom. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I've been blessed to have had the opportunity to retire early, travel to a couple of pretty nice places to help 'my neighbour' as well as growing his Kingdom at home. I've discovered that the Lord keeps his promises. Give more and receive more. Crazy, right?!
I continue to reflect in my own heart what I am holding on to and valuing. I'm trying to clean house, as it were. I know that there's still so much clutter that I'm hanging on to. I want to lighten the load of this world's priorities that are weighing me down. I want to be free to value what Jesus values -- people. To bring his love and his values to the world around me.
Now, to get to that clutter.