July 25, 2012 by Will Ray
I’m going to be rich one day.
No, I’m not going to “get discovered.” I won’t “strike gold” with an idea of mine. I’m not going to win America’s Got Talent, The Voice, or the lotto. Though it might be fun to be a World Series of Poker player, it’s just not in the cards for me. (rimshot!)
I’ll never be a high roller, but I do expect that one day, Nancy and I will have worked, saved, spent, and invested wisely long enough, that we will be what one might consider wealthy. It’s not a matter of getting to live the high life, but living right now by principles that are almost universally shown to lead towards the creation and buildup of wealth – living on less than you make, a constant discipline of saving, investing wisely, avoiding debt, and giving away at least ten percent.
It’s important to see where Scripture comes in here, as some could probably accuse me of blatantly “building up treasures here on earth.” Jesus appears to speak about building up wealth on earth negatively (Matthew 6:19-20, Luke 12:13-22). Other passages of Scripture talk about the importance of saving. Proverbs 22:20 says, after extolling the virtue of wisdom earlier in the book, “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” Saving is connected to goodness in Proverbs 13:22. “Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.”
I think Jesus’ remarks can nearly be summed up in what he said in Luke 12:21, “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” I think that Jesus spoke so strongly because money is something that touches nearly every other aspect of our lives. Therefore, it’s very easy to become exclusively focused on it, and end up trusting in it and our own ability to get more of it, instead of trusting the Provider.
I think it comes down to a trust thing. Are you going to love and trust in money? Or are you going to love and trust in God? It’s clear from scripture that you can’t do both (Luke 16:13).
For Nancy and I, we’ve decided to trust in God. I don’t find my security in money, I don’t love it more than Him, and I’ve decided what I would do if all I have was taken away (more on that in the future). We’ve decided to trust God and to hold what we have with an open hand, so that things can flow in, and things can flow out. We’re called to be “faithful” with what we have (Luke 16:10-12), so we’re going live by the principles that characterize faithfulness, and leave the rest up to God.
I’m pretty confident that it will turn out well.
Question: What principles characterize faithfulness in regards to handling what you have been given?