by Ernest Liu
about the author

  • Random Snippets
    • Happy Valentine’s Day! (Late, I know)
      As surprising and even weird as it may sound, I celebrated Valentine’s Day as it was meant to be…
    • CBM and the Spiritual High
      Campers and counselors are excited, because in the next two weeks, we’re gonna rock the grounds at CBM Camp! It’s that time of year when we get a taste of Heaven, where we rejoice among saints without distraction. Many of […]
    • Scribble Scribble
      I have reached a grand milestone in my life. Yesterday, for the first time in my entire life…
  • Graduating? Getting a Job?

    I’m in that blog-writing sort of mood, so here’s another for today! This is specifically for those of you who are graduating and looking for a job, and for those fortunate to already have a job.

    To the point, this post is about money. Because money is awesome, and much of what we do requires it.

    I bought a house over a year ago. My pride claims that my hard work and diligence allowed me to buy it at such a young age, but God knows better. I own this cozy abode because God chose to bless me that way. It is because of Him that I had the opportunity to teach piano in my freshman year of high school, make more money doing freelance graphic arts two years later, and get a job two years into college. God entrusted me with His money, of all people.

    Until I bought a house, I was pretty good at saving money. But you should have seen me the moment I bought the house. I wanted to remodel and refurnish everything. New carpets, repaint the walls, remodel the kitchen and bathrooms, redo my entire backyard, and so forth. So I started budgeting my money for the remodeling project.

    At some point in the flurry of excitement, I realized that I was sinning. I was loving money and the material things in my life (1 Timothy 6:10). In retrospect, it was silly of me to be so intoxicated with things that’ll just burn in the end. This house isn’t going to last forever, so why am I treating it like Heaven? Why was I so concerned about getting a high-def television when there are kids out there concerned about where their next meal will come from?

    Something clicked.

    1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are to do it all to the glory of God. And that includes how we spend our money. That click caused a radical change in the way I spent money. Now, I try only to purchase things that I truly believe brings glory to God. I realized that what I had was already so much more than I needed. I became content.

    I mean, for crying out loud, God gave me an entire house.

    So what does this mean for you, oh graduate? It means that if you are a believer, 1 Corinthians 10:31 applies to you too. It means that it would be wise to pray for contentment, and to pray that God will make you see others as He sees them. It means that you need to make sure your heart is prepared if God blesses you monetarily and money starts rolling into your bank like a river, so you can think about how you can spend money for God and Him alone.

    Have a heart like Paul. He sought to please everyone in everything he did, not seeking his own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 10:33).

    Spiritual notes:

    1. Be content with what God has given you. Ask Him to eliminate heart issues causing you to love stuff.
    2. Depend on and pray to God, because doing an act of generosity is powerful when powered by Him.
    3. It’s not about following the Old Testament tithing rule. It’s about giving back to God out of thanks, joy, reverence, and humility (2 Corinthians 8 and 9). If you’re just mechanically following the tithing rule, then hey. You’re actually supposed to give about 23% of what you make, not 10%!

    Practical ideas:

    1. Go sponsor some kids at World Vision or another charitable organization.
    2. Keep an eye out for how you can bless others who aren’t as fortunate as you. Go buy a friend some new socks, or a capo for a friend learning guitar, or a book for a friend to read.
    3. Don’t make shopping trips just to shop. Only shop to buy what you need, and don’t mistake a want for a need.
    4. Contribute to a missionary, because often they are short on finances because we’re short on giving.

    Have a happy graduation!

    PS. For the record, I’m not saying that house remodeling is a bad thing. I actually ended up repainting the first floor interior to make it cozier for guests!