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When a family member or friend walks through the legacy planning process with positive results, their story encourages others. But talk of money, and especially of giving money, leads many Christians to fear they are pursuing Mammon instead of God. “Am I looking at the golden pavement instead of the Lord? What’s next? The $25,000 golden dessert?” they worry.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that we should beware of practicing righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them. He said, if we do this and receive the praise of man, then we’ve received our praise and will have no reward from our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 6: 1-2). This warning, while important and relevant, can instill fear in those who strictly “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret” (Matthew 6: 3-4).
In his book, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, the late Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:
Laying up treasures deals with more than money. Our Lord is concerned here not so much about our possessions as with our attitude towards our possessions. It is not what a man may have, but what he thinks of his wealth, what his attitude is towards it. It is a question of one’s whole attitude towards life in this world. People who get their main, or even total satisfaction in this life from things that belong to this world only. This is not just about a rich person but also a poor person. No matter how small it is, it is everything to you, that is your treasure, that is the thing for which you are living. Love of money, love of honor, the love of position, love of status, the love of one’s work in an illegitimate sense, whatever it may be, anything that stops with this life and this world.
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