lav·ish [lav-ish]
to expend or give in great amounts or without limit: to lavish gifts on a person.

America really understands lavish living. Even if we can’t afford to we still find a way. Cough, cough…credit cards…cough.

We are all about the Benjamins baby. Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M!

This is Lavish. True story. When Lavish runs out of iPhones (he has 6), he likes to pretend with a wad of money.

We are so rich we have first world problems. We do not just have roofs for our homes we also have them for our cars. I’ve got all sorts of first world problems.

The average American is in $7,000 credit card debt and yet the average American still doesn’t feel like they have enough.

When it comes to spending a lot of us have money dysmorphic disorder. It’s the equivalent of body dysmorphic disorder where a person thinks they are fat when they are not, or balding when they have an afro, or have extra large nips when in all actually they are normal sized. I wasn’t writing from personal experience on that last one. It was about a friend. Shut up. It’s not about me. Stop!

The point is that when it comes to money most of us feel like we never have enough. We think, “As soon as I get that raise I’ll have enough.” Only we get the raise and it’s still not enough.

We love to live lavishly. I think that almost everyone reading this does.

I was recently challenged with a  thought. What if we gave lavishly?

Would giving lavishly to one person, need, or cause actually make a difference?

I think that most of us would say yes. In fact I think that most of us want to make some type of difference. Maybe it’s not with lavish generosity but we want to do something.

So why don’t we do more?

Drop-in-the-bucket effect – If we feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, we often do little about it.

The thought is there are so many problems that no matter what I do it won’t really make a difference. It’s the drop-in-the-bucket effect. But what if it did?

Earlier this year some one gifted us a cruise. That was a very lavish gift. It was amazing! It blew us away. It made a difference in our marriage.

This year someone gave our church a fully furnished church building. That is lavish. It has made a HUGE difference in our church. HUGE, I say. Gigantor.

My small group recently heard of an organization for young pregnant soon to be single moms. We asked what they need. They needed a baby shower for two of their moms. I feel like the amount of gifts, food, and decorations we had was very lavish. I hope that this made a huge difference in their lives.

I know you can’t do everything. I know you can’t meet every need. I know I can’t fix every problem. But what if we attempted to give as lavishly as we spend? I think it would make a world of difference to someone.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

You see we do not love God first. He loves us. But the way that it works is that after you have received His love you then give it back to God and to others.

How does God love us? Lavishly. So ultimately our response is to love others the way that we have been loved by God. To love lavishly would be showing people a glimpse of God.

If you could give lavishly today what would you give?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.


  1. April 29, 2014

    I would pay off our church debt. We, as a church, have been . Last year we had $134.000 of debt. Today we stand at $56,000. We have another $15,000 that may be applied to that and we are praying that we will have it paid off by July.

  2. Crystal
    April 29, 2014

    This idea has been wrecking my brain. I’ve always been that person with money dystrophic disorder. Ha! “When XYZ happens THEN I will have enough money. Once I get that raise, THEN I can be more generous.” But, no. If I still find ways to spend money. I can instead find ways to be generous.

    It would be incredible to pay off someone’s debt or buy a car for someone who simply doesn’t have the means to do so.

    • April 29, 2014

      Crystal, one day I think you’ll get to. I hope to be a part of something like that. A lavish gift that screams Jesus loves you.

  3. jebatthebeach
    April 29, 2014

    We’ve been debt free for years (house payment excluded). Our rule: if we can’t pay cash, we can’t have it.
    I’d love to be able to pay to have the white building torn down on our church property, buy my Bestie a car and support an orphanage & an animal rescue organization.

    • April 29, 2014

      Joan, you rock! The no debt thing is very rare these days. Good on ya!

  4. April 29, 2014

    My first instinct would be to do something for my daughter.

  5. shepherdmim
    April 29, 2014

    White Bld. on church property–gone; provide production support for some Christian films; maybe start a multi-church coordinated counseling Hope center to sort out the needs of beggars with cardboard signs along our streets and provide links to productive work, support, rehabilitation, and care–kind of a “teen challenge” for needy adults.

    • April 29, 2014

      Mim, that’s a great idea. Maybe one day we will be at a place to start something like that at Next Level and you can head it up.

  6. Kris
    April 29, 2014

    I think I would start with the schools in our neighborhoods. Give all that is needed to let the teachers teach AND more teachers to reduce class room size. I would also like to see no child go hungry in our cities.

  7. Mary
    April 29, 2014

    A dream of mine is to some day have a ton of$ and have a check party. Invite everyone to dinner and just hand out checks .

    • April 29, 2014

      Mary, what a cool dream! You are so generous! You are awesome!

  8. Faith
    April 29, 2014

    I would start my own “What Not to Wear Hampton Roads Edition”, and fund the transformations with my own money. Of course, the transformation would also include an exercise program at my very spacious fitness facility.

  9. May 9, 2014

    “If you could give lavishly today what would you give?”

    That one’s easy…the only priceless thing I would ever have to give is/would be my heart. 🙂


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