By Charity Beall, CHM Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Editor’s note: This information was published in the September 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.
In the July 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine I began a conversation about our joint stewardship of money sent to the ministry by you, our members, to share medical bills. I explained my responsibility to be a steward of your funds and your stewardship responsibility of the funds entrusted to you—through CHM—by your brothers and sisters in Christ.
A steward is someone who manages and protects someone else’s money.
In the August issue we discussed how price shopping for healthcare services makes us better stewards and better healthcare consumers.
These concepts of stewardship and shopping for health services remind me of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
A rich man is leaving for a trip. He calls his three servants and distributes five talents to one, two talents to another and one talent to the last. The servants were made stewards of the talents they were given—the talents didn’t belong to them but to their master.
The servants with the five and two talents doubled the rich man’s money and he was pleased. He told them both, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things…”
The third servant, however, took the talent and buried it. Upon the rich man’s return, the servant gave the talent back to him. The master’s response to this servant was, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed…”
The rich man in this parable is the Lord God. It’s interesting that the Lord required that each servant earn a return on the money. Even more insightful is that He expected a return not resulting from His labor.
This parable can be interpreted many ways, but for our discussion of financial stewardship, let’s connect it to the concept of price shopping and its financial cousin, medical bill discounts.
I’m proud to be a CHM member, a wife, and the mother of three young children. My children, like many of yours, experience common childhood illnesses and occasional accidents. As someone who desires to honor God and my position as CHM chief financial officer, I must practice what I preach. When our family faces healthcare needs, I call around to shop for pricing and I ask healthcare providers for discounts. At first, asking for discounts wasn’t altogether comfortable because it was new.
However, I’ve gained confidence over time and I find motivation in Matthew 25. My Lord said that He reaps where he did not sow. He expects me to use my money, time, and talents wisely to help build His kingdom—and to help build up my brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, it’s no small thing to ease the financial burdens of other believers by seeking the best pricing on our healthcare. In fact, in 2018 discounts represented 43 percent of all eligible medical bills sent to CHM!
Another one of my favorite Scriptures is James 4:2b (NIV): “You do not have because you do not ask God.” I often paraphrase this as “You have not because you ask not.” Boldly asking my healthcare providers for discounts is not only okay with Him, it’s expected of me.
My commitment to you as a steward of your CHM membership funds is to ask God to supply what this ministry needs, to reap what I have not sown, to pursue a return, and to multiply the money that you have entrusted to CHM.
Today I’m asking you to do the same things. Ask, ask, ask for better pricing, ask for a discount and shop around for healthcare services.