We had a wonderful kick-off with our theme “Generosity and Joy” on Sunday. I talked about one of my favorite authors, Lynne Twist, who wrote The Soul of Money. I had the privilege of spending a good part of a week with Lynne about ten years ago at a retreat on fundraising. Lynne is one of those people who is out to change the world. In her book she writes about the dark side of money (when we worship it and allow it to control our lives). She also writes about the immense healing power in even the smallest amount of money when we use it to express our humanity—our highest ideals, values and commitments. And the beauty of it all is that we get to choose how we want to relate to money. We can either allow it to enslave us or we can use it to heal ourselves and the world; but we must choose, otherwise money will choose for us.

So much of what Lynne says in her book sounds like the New Testament to me. Jesus, of course, also made it clear that we must choose. He said, “You cannot serve God and wealth.” Jesus actually talked a lot about the relationship between people and money because he saw how enslaving it can be and how much value it can add to our lives and communities when seen in proper perspective. The Apostle Paul, who spent so much of his letters focused on loving God, also pointed out the importance of choosing our relationship with money when he said, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” It is not money that is evil. It becomes dark when we love it instead of God and God’s creation and creatures.

My encouragement to everyone was that we receive all that we have, including our money, as gifts from a generous God gives to us and, in response, to give joyfully and lovingly as grateful stewards.

Aloha nui!



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“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by the Kahu (Pastor) of Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.