***For others here on this forum***
This was for Régis. I did not come here to start a religious debate. Below are statements rife with Christian ideologies. If you hate Christianity, please do not read. I would rather you not be offended.
Régis, try to understand God's mind towards finances. We humans are naturally self-willed creatures. The altar of sacrifice is about surrendering the will. Be mindful of the fact that "a man's heart is never satisfied, his eyes are always searching." I have known some very wealthy men, who desperately want just a little bit more. One more toy, one more digit in their bank account. But satisfaction will not come from such things.
As it is, we can’t /have/ anything. We can only be /with/ things that are already the Lord’s.
In Hebrew law, debts (no matter how large) were forgiven after a seven year time period, and debtors could not be refused close to that special day. Their economy flourished, strangely enough. O_o
It doesn't make sense to me, and yet it does. God wants us not only to expect nothing in return (feeling good, gratitude, etc), but he wants us to give without remembering it. Any other motivation than righteousness sharply cheapens the deed.
Now here comes discernment. Recognize that you don't cast your pearls before swine. You only get stewardship over so much in your lifetime. Reach down half way to those will help themselves up the other half. Otherwise "a fool and his money are soon parted" follows.
Recognize the faithful and the true from those who have selective misfortunes. As an example of these, when I was younger I associated with a group of homeless people. We would wander around parking lots with a gas can, looking for money to "gas up our cars." We used this money for drugs until we hit rock bottom. Then we would get ourselves arrested so we could get a hot shower, a nice bed, and a clean meal. Rinse and repeat.
That's crooked man. Read people carefully, because everyone has some reason they are convinced they need something. They will expend you to no end to get it.
Brethren are a good start. Start an Acts 20 church movement.
Above all of this, know one thing: "[a] man may make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail."
No matter how you think things have gone, we can't see the full picture. As the Lord said: "Who is blind like my servants [?]" God is still sovereign, and if you love Him, you can't go wrong. The vapor of this life will pass, and you will hardly remember your discerning (and moderate) sacrifices. But the Lord will.
We have no idea what’s happening behind the veil. Our first love is the Lord, and when we lose sight of that, everything crumbles.
Keep your eye fixed on the cross. Let it be your goal to “know nothing but Christ and His resurrection”, lest you sink like Peter when he took his eye off Christ to look at the storm around him.
Love you brother. Run this endurance race! It’s not over yet!