By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
Did you read the article in the July 22-24 edition of “USA Weekend” titled “you don’t have to be rich?” What testimonies billionaire couple Bill and Melinda Gates gave in an interview about how every American can give regardless of one’ financial station in life.
As you most likely know, Bill Gates dedicated his life to revolutionizing technology and became the richest man in the world. Then, he decided to give half his fortune away to improve education and combat poverty and disease. Now, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife have a new mission in life, namely, to encourage others, rich and otherwise, to pitch in, too.
Melinda testified “the more you get engaged and the more you learn about giving back, the more you want to do.” She advised we “take some small step to give something of yourself and see where it leads you.”
What really grabbed me was their testimony about why they do what they do. When asked what motivated them to help on such an astonishing scale, both Bill and Melinda had the same reply: “their parents.” Bill stated “I think the easiest way to develop strong beliefs is when you see your parents not only espousing those beliefs but acting on them…Both of us grew up in families big on giving back.” Melinda said “her family also emphasized service to others…That’s why some find it hard to believe this came so naturally to us to give back…but when you grow up in families like that, of course we’re going to…that’s where we come from.”
I, too, had Christian parents who began teaching me at an early age, and holding me accountable, about the importance and the role of Christian financial stewardship in my relationship to Christ and to other human beings. Most everything I know and practice in the Christian discipline of financial stewardship can be traced to my parents’ example. The Bible was their source, and God’s Holy Spirit was their strength and guide.
Oh, God, give us Christian parents who model biblical stewardship for their children!