Core Christian Value
What a temptation it is to accumulate wealth, which we know will perish. Better to be one who is a “conduit” using wealth to advance the cause of the Kingdom.
“Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul,’ Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” LUKE 12:16-21 NKJV
There is a parable in the Bible that speaks of three men being given unequal amounts to invest. One had 5 talents (money), another had 2 talents and another had 1 talent. The one with 5 earned 5 more and the one with 2 earned 2 more and the one with a single talent hid it and did nothing with it. When the master came he commended the two who had doubled their holdings and scolded the man who hid his single talent. I will say that the lesson is that God intends us to use the talents he has given us and not to hide them away. Therefore, endeavor (hard work) is encouraged and rewarded. That being the case, how can the accumulation of wealth lead to a problem? Listen to the answer:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19 NKJV
If God has richly blessed you, do good. Be ready to give, be willing to share, giving God the credit for His blessing to you and for His gifts to you that can be distributed as the Spirit leads. Do not look for ways to hoard the bounty that decays and will not endure. Listen: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” MATTHEW 6:19-21 NKJV
God teaches us that riches can become corrupted and moth eaten and that the corrosion of riches will be a witness against you (JAMES 5:1-3). Building bigger barns to house blessings that overflow appears to be a serious error in judgment for God’s children. Do you feel that God has “gifted” you in some way, perhaps not monetarily? What do you think God expects you to do with the gifts that He gives you? What do you think it means when it says you should “store up a good foundation for the time to come”. How do you “store up” that which you are to give away? Since passing the blessings along, whether monetary or other “talents” seems to be a requirement, why should you bother working hard? What is in it for you?
Since the Bible says, “You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter” (JAMES 5:5) in a critical way, how can you succeed and not fail?
Is the accumulation of assets some kind of a curse if you fail to understand why God has blessed you? Do assets represent a liability, a responsibility? Why should you hope to be financially successful (if you do have such a hope?)