Are You Wealthy?
Are you wealthy? When someone hears this question, they immediately start to count their assets in order to judge, if indeed, they are wealthy. But is monetary wealth the only wealth that matters? According to the actions of a large majority — the answer is yes. Even in the modern day church, entire doctrines are formulated around monetary blessings. So why is money so important to people? Well, it provides security, independence and the hope of happiness. In our society, and all other societies around the world, people crave for monetary wealth, so much so, they will forsake all else to get it. The sad thing is, many times, once a person achieves the “wealth” status, they are often too old to enjoy the benefits or end up not knowing how to spend it. It is astounding to see what a person will sacrifice to achieve the dream of monetary wealth. People sacrifice their health, time with their loved ones, their youth, their sanity and everything else a person can give in the pursuit of wealth. However, the irony is, that the very thing wealth is suppose to create: independence, freedom and the hope of happiness, instead robs people of those things. It is an evil cycle and no wonder it says in 1 Timothy 6:10
“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Extremes: In reading the paragraph above, most people will then ask, “What should we do? Live in the woods and forsake anything that has to do with money?” The answer is no! Do not take things to the extreme. You only need to be mindful, in this life, what it is that you are exchanging your time for. The facts are undeniable that the pursuit of money alone will leave you empty and sad in the end. We all came into the world the same way, and we will all exit this world the same way — We leave with nothing. So ask yourself: If I could do anything in this life and money wasn't a blockade, what would it be? The common response among most people will be something like this, “Ummmm, I am not sure. Maybe travel or help out the less fortunate.” When you ask yourself this question, you'll be surprised how limited and neglected your dreams are because you never thought they were possible. We do this because our culture and society sets the tone for the pursuit of wealth as the end all. We must change our thinking.
Making Dreams Possible: If you want to make your dreams and calling possible, stop thinking about money for a moment. When you place your dreams, passions and callings as the priority, you'll only look at money as a tool, not the end goal. Another important fact is that when we place too much emphasis on wealth creation, with no goal, you will end up seeing it flee from you. Proverbs 23:4-5
“Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.”
Wealth is not wrong, it is only wrong when it is our focus to gain it for no end. Cease from your consideration of it.
Missionary Hinderance: Many times, we hear people who are interested in missions say statements like this, “I am waiting for God to open the doors of finance and then I will commit to going on a mission trip.” Or they will make a similar comment that suggests that they will not take actions in missions until, like manna from heaven, money appears to make it possible. The tragedy is that this type of thinking is not mature. It is the same old trap of putting wealth thinking before the passion of being a missionary. Obviously, money matters to make missions possible, because it is the way to buy plane tickets, live overseas, take expeditions and finance your missionary endeavours. But if your focus is constantly on the failure to achieve the finances, then you will never get there because you are not acting upon it in faith.
People everywhere are driven to get what they want. What you value in life tends to manifest itself into reality. One focus of potential missionaries should be an approach on how to explain your passion, vision and goals to others. Share your heart and tell your needs for that purpose, and then you will quickly see the finances come from heaven.
The Intention: It is very easy to sit back and ridicule individuals for misplaced life goals or seeking after wealth, but that is not our intention. We understand and see the environment the world has created. It is very normal and expected to seek after wealth, especially when our society structure is set up on this foundation. We are drawn to this life system like a moth to the flame because our environment dictates it to us. So, knowing this, we don't need to shun society and rebuke our involvement in it, but we only need to be mindful that there are forces in life that will compete for our love and time. We must recognize that we need a higher goal in life other than creating wealth. God has bigger plans for you than only this.