We started the How To Be Rich series with statistics and facts that prove we are rich. If you earn $35,000 a year, you are in the top few percent of wage earners in the world. Much of the world do not have the luxuries of a house, car, cell phone, cable TV, running water, and electricity to name just a few of the things we take for granted in the U.S.
For many of us, our problem isn’t that we’re not rich, our problem is that we don’t feel rich. The reason is simple. No matter how much you have, there’s always someone who has more. That causes discontentment because the more we have, the more you want. And the desire to feel wealthy causes us to place our hope in money instead of in God. We’re tempted to believe that if we make enough, we’ll be able to control our circumstances and create a better life for ourselves. But the Bible describes a different way of thinking about and using our wealth.
Scripture challenges us to look at our money differently because our lives are better when we place our trust in the One who richly provides. Viewing wealth through the lens of eternity loosens our grip on it and its grip on us. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 tells us that the generosity of rich people in this present age also lays up treasure for them in heaven. As you give away, your grip on wealth is released, and you open yourself up to the abundance of God’s Kingdom here and now.
Jesus tells a story/parable about a rich man who had surplus amounts of wealth. Since he was wealthy, it was assumed by the hearers of the story, he must be blessed by God, and smart. Saving for the future is an Old Testament concept. I will save it now, and consume it later was his motto, because all that is placed in my hands is for me, he had thought. Then God tells him he will die that night. Jesus says, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves on Earth, but is not rich toward God.”
We do not get credit for what we leave. We only get credit for what we give.
I hope you will remember these four points on How To Be Rich:
- Do good for those who can’t or won’t do good for you – that was the hallmark of first century Christianity – expecting nothing in return.
- Don’t place your hope in riches, but in the One who richly provides.
- Since you have more, do more and give more.
- Viewing wealth through the lens of eternity loosens our grip on it and its grip on us.
So, be rich in generosity. God will do something in you, and through you, and you will take hold of the life that is truly life.
1. Reflect back on How To Be Rich series. What did you enjoy? What made a big impression on you?
2. How were you challenged during the How To Be Rich series? How did it change how you view your wealth and your responsibilities as a Christian?
3, 1 Timothy 6:19 tells us: “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” Does that idea resonate with you? Why or why not? Pray and ask God for his wisdom and help in creating “a firm foundation for the coming age”with your generosity.
4. Read Luke 12:13–21. In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus draws a connection between being rich toward those in need and being rich toward God. What is your opinion of this idea? What do you like about it? How does it challenge you?