Sunday Reflections – You’re Rich, and So Am I!

1-23-13 treasureIf you line all of “us” up (meaning, everyone who reads this post and probably pretty much everyone we know too) based on our financial status, we would all be in the top 10% of the world’s income. Think about that for a minute.

Still not sure? Go to How Rich Am I? at Giving What We Can, and enter your information to calculate where you stand with regard to income compared to the rest of the world. Surprised?

(Note: I don’t necessarily recommend Giving What We Can as your primary giving source. I personally feel your tithe should go to your church home.)

So, knowing that we are all truly rich, let’s look at what the Bible says should then follow. In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, we find a list of what the “rich” on earth should and should not do with OUR wealth.

  1. Don’t act superior because you’re wealthy.
  2. Don’t believe, desire or trust in wealth.
  3. Believe, desire and trust in God.
  4. Make your good deeds as abundant as your riches.
  5. Distribute your wealth liberally.
  6. Share your wealth to make others comfortable.

The Weymouth New Translation says it this way: “Be beneficent, rich in noble deeds, open-handed and liberal.” (Beneficent means “doing good or causing good to be done; conferring benefits; kindly action or purpose.”)

This portion of 1 Timothy also gives us the benefits of keeping these commands, which is realization that our true treasure exists in heaven, where we find “life that is truly life.” Matthew 6:19-21 expands on this concept.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In other words, have an eternal perspective. Focus on that which will last into eternity and not on that which will one day cease to exist. So, “life that is truly life” means life that cannot be destroyed and that is completely protected by God. In focusing on the eternal in this life, we focus our hearts on that which will go on forever.

AMPLIFY: Last year, my husband and I held A Spending Fast during the first quarter of the year. Our motivation for this was to stop the habit of spending without thinking that we had gotten into during the holiday season (which, for us, also happens to be somewhat of a birthday season too). We are holding another spending fast this year, but we have amplified it by not just limiting our extra spending but also by praying for ways to better invest in “life that is truly life.” More on our amplified spending fast in an upcoming post.

DISCUSSION: How do you think that the command to give to help others fits with God providing us with “everything for our enjoyment” (see the end of verse 17 in 1 Timothy 6)?

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10 thoughts on “Sunday Reflections – You’re Rich, and So Am I!

  1. You ask a tough question at the end. It seems that some advocate a very spartan lifestyle in regards to money, while others are on the opposite end of the spectrum. God doesn't give us any strict rules about giving in scripture – and I think that's because he wants it to remain an issue of the heart rather than a legalistic formula. Balancing your giving with still enjoying the God-given benefits that money can buy is a constant conflict in our lives. I'm not sure it's supposed to be simple and easy for us sinners.

    • You hit on the heart of it so well, Loren. We simply cannot compare ourselves to each other. God calls each one of us to serving Him in our own unique way, which includes the way we glorify Him with our finances. It's totally an issue of the heart. Comparisons make it an external issue instead. You're also right in that it shouldn't be simply and easy. God wants us to choose to serve Him, which is where the heart issue comes in, and making something easy makes it less of a choice. Great input! Thanks!

  2. I have to share my mom’s story. Mom never had much, but she believed in thithing what she did have. In later years I manages her checkbook and when her social security check and SSI came in, I have better write the first check to her home church for 10%. ON top of that she managed to give to missions, do good deeds for others, and more. In those years she said, God will provide, and He did. She had a small apartment, her nest, clothes, though many had been around for years, and food. She was content.

    Now I know this was a lesson she learned through the years, and it was not always something she did when younger, but her example has really impressed me. Just with I were as good about trusting God and applying what she taught as she was in doing it! So I think how we handle what we are given has a lot to do with trusting God to provide, not always what we want, but what we need, when we put Him first and obey His commandments.

  3. I definitely believe we should be aware of opportunities around us to give. This means not only of our money but our time as well. Sometimes it is easier to give money and not of ourselves and our time which is more often more precious than our money.

  4. Pingback: Spending Fast 2013 | Struggle to Victory

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