Dr. Doug Posey
As we see unfolding right in front of us in our nation, it’s something we can’t trust. It fuels the stock market’s rocketlike ascent. Its withdrawal brings it crashing down. It causes retirement accounts to fluctuate wildly from one day to the next. It can upset lives, cause fights, destroy relationships and make people bitter and resentful toward one another. It has started wars and caused the downfall of empires. It tends to happen when people make this the main priority. The Bible says that the love of it causes all kinds of problems, as in—“the root of all kinds of evil.” If you haven’t guessed—it’s money!
No doubt many are currently focused on cash, or the lack thereof, with the Christmas season having just passed and gifts leaving bank accounts thin. The roller-coaster stock market and tenuous relationship with international trading partners, along with doubts being cast upon once-trustworthy companies, grabs the attention of the financially concerned. Being currently in the middle of a partial government shut-down doesn’t help if you’re dependent on Uncle Sam for an income either. It just reminds us that hope in what Jesus calls, “unrighteous wealth” (Luke 16:11) is futile.
As evidenced in a survey of lottery winners, ninety-five percent of respondents said that winning had ruined their lives. The survey’s conclusion: If money becomes the most important thing in your life, then you’re living the wrong life! Yet, companies, nations, families, individuals and even churches still make the mistake of pursuing the wrong kind of foundation for their existence…that of riches.
When you listen to political candidates debating the major issues for our country, the bulk of it often has to do with the economy. Voters are very concerned about the economic foundation of the nation and of their personal lives. If we could solve wealth concerns on a personal and national level, it seems that it would make life much easier, doesn’t it?
If a candidate for office could promise—not just a campaign ploy, but really promise—wealth for everyone, he or she would be a shoe-in. By the same token, any product that could guarantee to remedy all financial woes would enjoy a limitless market. So, then doesn’t it make sense that if you are trying to sell selfish/greed-based religion, you offer the same benefits?
In his book Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff writes,
“We must shift from perceiving God as a means to an end, to recognizing that He is the end. We must shift from a theology based on temporary perspectives to one based on eternal perspectives.”
That’s very true, but what about those temporary things? Do they matter at all? Of course they do. God cares about your financial situation. He cares enough to give us sound biblical principles upon which to build our lives and to live with a healthy balance.
As Christ readies His church for His return, one key quality He will expect to see in us is that we know the difference between a foundation built on eternal importance and that built merely on temporal value. Though He expects us to be good stewards of those temporal things, if they become the most important things, we’re living the wrong life and building upon the wrong foundation.
Are you building your foundation on the solid rock of God and eternity, or the shifting sands of today’s temporal wealth? Are you building on a foundation that will endure, or things that are here today but could be gone tomorrow? Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve both God and money. Serving God means gaining true riches.
In Revelation, Christ dictated a letter through the Apostle John to the Church at Smyrna and commended them for the true, godly wealth that is gained only from faithfulness to God, not the almighty dollar. Smyrna faced persecution, tribulation, imprisonment and poverty, but they were rich in the things of God. Their wealth included faith, mercy, grace, generosity and good works. With treasures like these, God was pleased and their “spiritual bank accounts” were full. How is your spiritual bank account? With what are you are investing?
“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” —Luke 16:11