Let me tell you about Jones. He’s a very wealthy businessman, a respected philanthropist who has established an effective and impacting charitable foundation for disadvantaged youth, and a generous Christian who tithes north of 10% of his income to the church as well as an NGO that is providing clean drinking water to villages in sub-Saharan Africa.
Jones is also a car collector and he has focused in particular on amassing a collection of performance Buicks. Why Buicks? Because when Jones was a child growing up in the 1960s, his dad ran a Buick dealership and he has a deep emotional connection with the brand.
On Sunday, you overhear Jones in the church foyer come up to friends and start sharing excitedly about his charitable work with his foundation. And then he says this: “Oh, and praise the Lord, I received an answer to prayer. My bid on that 1987 mint condition Buick GNX was accepted! The Lord is good!”
Jones is clearly a generous person who is doing much good in the world. But what do you think about his statement that God answered his prayer to acquire this Buick GNX? Is that offensive? Fatuous and self-indulgent? Or is it possibly true? And if Jones praises God for victories at his business, his foundation, and his clean drinking water project, is it wrong for him to praise God for a victory in his car collection as well? After all, according to James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” and to a Buick collector, the hallowed 1987 GNX is definitely a good gift.
What do you think?