What is it about me and money?! Why have I mistakenly believed for my entire adult life that in order to live a life of abundance I must earn a 6-figure income and have enough in the retirement fund to support me, my spouse and all of our progeny for decades of extravagant living?!
The Bible, which is our primary source of wisdom on every subject known to mankind and womankind, challenges my very Western, “gimme-gimme” type of thinking. If, like me, you have falsely bought into the notion that an extraordinary life is tied to extraordinary wealth, I’d like to invite you to join me in a treasure hunt into God’s Word. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about it!
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
These verses erase the option of riches being a prerequisite to the possibility of living a life of abundance and meaning. We mistakenly presume that it is impossible to live a full and meaningful life without the benefit of gargantuan portions of money. Money is definitely a benefit and most of us certainly wish we had more, but never base your potential for living an abundant life on something as transient as your checking account. Never use your monetary lack as an excuse for living an inferior life.
One issue Paul clearly addresses in these verses is that the rich are not automatically experts at that which constitutes a life of abundance. Some of the most fulfilled people alive today don’t have a penny to their names and yet they live a life full of Heaven’s extraordinary abundance.
Paul reminds all of us that riches are uncertain. Paul is instructing that riches are absolutely unstable and that money can disappear as quickly as it can appear. There is no guaranteed way to invest one’s earthly goods and riches in a worldly system of finance. Many people, at every historical juncture, woke up with great wealth but went to bed as mere paupers.
The only thing riches seem to guarantee is there will always be something to worry about. Paul is addressing how important it is to separate who you are from what you own. As believers, we do not fix our hope on the uncertainty of riches but on God, the Giver of all good gifts. Whether one is hugely rich or devastatingly poor, we are all to fix our hope on God who is the rich One and who gives richly, extravagantly, and abundantly to those who are His own.
“ . . . storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Timothy 6:19, emphasis added).
There is a guaranteed way for every believer to amass a fortune because there is a secure place, designated by God, where all investments are safe and are unable to be stolen or even diminished by time.
The greatest use of your time spent on Earth is to spend it for something that will outlast your own life. The wisest and most generous use of your resources is to invest them in the unshakable Kingdom of God.
When you choose to be generous, regardless of your finances, you have tapped into one of the greatest secrets of living life indeed. Selfish men and women, although financially secure and smugly in charge, have no idea what true living is all about. It is not riches that guarantee abundance, but it is a lifestyle of generous giving and reaching out to others.
Have you discerned what is truly important in life? It is to place all of your hope on the God who blesses His children enormously. It is not your ability to acquire riches and accumulate possessions that is the guarantee of a wealthy lifestyle. Life at its core is lived best by someone who generously and consistently gives of their gifts, their resources, and their time. Intentional givers know the joyful truth that we are not here to amass an earthly kingdom, but to build a heavenly fortune!