That’s what this is about right? How to be Rich: a three-week series on money … and mo’ of it! Yeah, you’re probably already thinking that doesn’t sound right. A church is not going to do a series focused on increasing one’s personal portfolio. Or would they?! The Bible has A LOT to say about money, and you don’t have to look far to find someone preaching the “prosperity gospel” (the “doctrine” or belief system which says God’s will for your life is to be healthy and wealthy). But, you’re right, we are not going to focus on money in this series. We’ll talk about it, for sure, but we believe that when we talk about wanting more money (and we all think or talk about it), it’s not really the money that we want. We don’t want more cash, we want the “stuff” that money can buy.
can’t buy me love
There are a lot of “things” that money can buy, and we may delude ourselves into thinking that the deep longing we have will be satisfied by them (more things, or a specific thing). But until we truly discover our deep longing and acknowledge nothing short of God will ever satisfy it, no amount of cash, or the material things it can buy, will ever be enough. I believe it would be so freeing and healing to begin seeing the difference between what really amount to “wild wants” and our genuine, deep longing. And, to be clear, some of these “wild wants” are actually good things. More money to have the freedom to spend more time with those you love most … who could argue with that?! And have you ever seen someone on a jet ski who wasn’t smiling?!
We hope in this series, you will be challenged to engage your deep longing and see how the things of this world only have the power to make you rich in the eyes of this world. It is not how God defines rich. It may satisfy for a season, but it will not last, and it is not eternal. So what, then?! How does God define “rich?” What do we want to share with you which will help you to become rich?
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to his “apprentice,” his Padawan, Timothy. And in his letter, we find great wisdom and the beginning of an answer to the questions I just posed.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)
In these few words, we find the key to being truly rich — not as this world defines it, but as God does. True contentment — being content with nothing other than food and clothing — is essential to living the life God has authored specifically for you. I wonder what temptations and traps come to mind as you read the strong caution in the verses above. If you’ve been pursuing material wealth, can you name the foolish and harmful desires that have undoubtedly been part of your journey? Do you see the important qualifier about what makes money the “root of all kinds of evil“? What are the grief’s you’ve been pierced with in your eagerness for money and your wandering from faith?
Coaches talk about knowing and mastering the “fundamentals” as they only way to achieve greatness in sports. Contentment is one of the fundamentals in living a godly life. An old hymn says, “take the world and give me Jesus.” What about you? What are you content with, and what are you content without? What is your wild want (the thing(s) you desire most)? What is your deep longing (did you even know you had one, or that Someone other than you created it)? What would it take for your wild want and deep longing to become the very same thing, and what would your life look like as you pursued that with everything you are and have been given by God? Pursue contentment. Be rich.