The Problem with Wealth

In part five of our series, Finding Meaning, we look at one last place we often go to fill this lingering void in our lives: Wealth. Money is a tempting source of meaning because it can make so many things happen that seem to be on our behalf, but if contentment is the thing we are seeking in having it, we are going to come up empty. Contentment has another source. Keep reading to find out what that is.

The Problem with Wealth

Have you ever felt like the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and at the expense of the not-so-wealthy?  The odds are that unless you happen to feel like you’re part of the “wealthy”—that ubiquitous class of people who are imprecisely defined as folks whose net worth number has a couple more zeros than yours does and who serve as a convenient villain for all kinds of occasions—you’ve probably felt like this before.  As fair and impartial as our system is supposed to be, having money has its advantages.  And the more money you have, the more you are able to tap into those advantages.  We defer to wealthy people in ways we don’t similarly defer to not-as-wealthy people.  Humans have always done that.  We have always assumed that people who have lots of money have managed to get that money for some reason and whatever that reason is, if we haven’t been able to get lots of money ourselves, it must mean they’re better than us in some way.  We can try and deny that all we want, but that’s how pretty much every human culture has always worked.  It just is. 

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 30:7-9

“Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”  (ESV)

If you could ask anything of God, what would it be?  Agur here asks for two things.  He firsts asks for God to make him honest, to take all falsehood and lying away from him.  We can understand that.  Now, that may not be the first thing we would think of if we had a blank check from God, but it’s a pretty good thing if you think about it.  He’s basically asking for God to help him live a life that is consistent with reality all the time.  Most of us could probably use a little more reality in our lives.  Living with fantasy may feel nice for a while, but eventually it runs out and usually leaves you lower than you were before you sought the fantasy high in the first place.  This is a good thing.  We get this one.  The other thing…after the beginning…not so much. Read the rest…

Moring Musings: 1 Timothy 6:17-19

As this new year dawns, I am now six months into this venture. It came after a long period of thinking about it, with much encouragement from several sources, most notably my beautiful bride. Thus far it has proved to be more work than I imagined, but also more satisfying. I love to write and this provides an outlet for that. More importantly, you, the good folks who take time out of your day several times a week to read what I have to say, make it possible. Thank you for your time, your thoughts, and your willingness to share when something has struck your fancy. I am looking forward to what the future brings. Happy New Year! Here is 2018’s inaugural Morning Musing. And stay tuned for yesterday’s sermon this afternoon. We’ll talk about how to have the best new year yet. Blessings to you!

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes in the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

To borrow a bit from an idea that Andy Stanley has been proclaiming for several years, there is nothing inherently wrong with being rich.  The problem is that most people who are rich aren’t very good at it.  Most rich people think their resources are primarily for them.  They think they own them.  They think they can do with them mostly as they please.  If that’s how you are being rich, you’re not doing it right. Read the rest…