When I was a child, a popular Sunday afternoon activity was to drive over to the “Country Club Section” of town and admire the big houses and the lush lawns and gardens. My parents would point out the fancy features, but would almost always make some sad comment about the people who lived there. Either they had a wild kid who was always in trouble, they’d suffered a major illness, or they’d been through some sordid scandal. In other words, having money hadn’t made them happy.
This conclusion somehow made us feel better – softened our envy perhaps – and made not having that kind of money easier to accept because we were happier than those who had it. Eventually, this became a family joke. When we drove by huge homes, admired someone’s fancy Ferrari, or saw pictures of glamorous, well-dressed, bejeweled celebrities, we’d say, “But you know they’re not happy!” Of course, the truth is those people could have been very happy – because happiness has little to do with how much or how little money we have.
What does God say about money?
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (I Timothy 6:10).
Give that some thought. How many evil things in our society exist primarily because they’re financially profitable for someone?
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5).
Some of us have experienced that feeling. Our money took flight like a bird. We’ve learned first-hand that our worth, our security, our happiness and our trust cannot be in money.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Knowing God better and serving Him is to be truly rich, regardless of our financial circumstances.
We want to trust God, seek His wisdom, and lay up treasures in heaven where they are truly secure. No one can take them from us. No one can steal our prayers, our praise to God, our love for our families and our friends, or our thanksgiving for what he has given us.