Q&A with Mike Slaughter, author of shiny gods

July 26th, 2013

How much is enough?

In a culture guided by shiny, life-promising distractions, "enough" seems elusive and keeps us chasing the next quick fix.

What if the Giver of Life offered freedom from this downward spiral—would you take it? In shiny gods, pastor and author Mike Slaughter helps readers reassess priorities to create a culture and lifestyle of giving, based on the word of God and the example of Christ.

Why is giving so important?

Giving is the nature of God. Our God is a God who gives. Generosity is evidence of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life. Look at 2 Corinthians 9:6 (TNIV) again: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

How does Jesus’ view of culture differ from that of the shiny gods?

When we pursue the shiny gods of the culture, we spend our lives conjugating three verbs: to want, to have, to achieve. Jesus leads us in a better way. He tells us to conjugate one verb: to love.

Can you speak some to the principle that states that you can’t spend more than you make?

In 2005, Americans hit a negative savings rate for the first time in our history when we spent $1.22 for every dollar earned, the result of our self-focused, undisciplined spending and the debt it generated. We improved on that slightly after the recession hit, but within a year or two many of us had allowed our spending and debt to spiral out of control again.

God holds us accountable for having a sound fiscal plan. Similarly, Proverbs 27:23-24 reads, “Know your flock well; pay attention to your herds, for no treasure lasts forever, nor a crown generation after generation.”

When you’re acting rightly, your financial resources will grow. When you’re not, then God won’t trust them to you. Instead, he will trust them to someone who is following his directive.

What would you say is the fundamental reason we are to give abundantly?

The fundamental reason we are to give abundantly from God’s harvest is because you and I are created in the image of God and are visible expressions of God’s nature in the world. Ours is a God of generosity; ours is a God who gives.

You say that once we have recognized and denounced the shiny gods in our lives, it’s time to do the planting that will lead to our future harvest. Can you offer us a game plan?

I suggest a system that Christians have been using for centuries. It isn’t something I invented. It’s called the 10-10-80 plan. The first ten percent of everything that comes into your hand, you give to God as an expression of faith and gratitude. The second ten percent you pay to yourself, in the form of saving for the future. The remaining eighty percent is what you live on.

Additional companion pieces have been developed for shiny gods to use in small groups, a 4-week church wide stewardship program entitled first is also available, more information is below.

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