The Mustard Seed
Economics by The Book
Once a reporter interviewing a very wealthy man asked, "How much money does a person need to be really satisfied?"
The rich man answered, "Always a little more." This man understood that money and things will never satisfy us. When we expect that getting more money or getting new things will make us happy, we will be disappointed. So we foolishly hunger for more.
We tend to measure our success by the quantity of our stuff. God measures success very differently. He said,
"What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul? Or what can anyone trade for his soul?" (Matthew 16.26)
Principle #11 in our series on financial management is to learn the joy of contentment. That means, learn to live simply and be satisfied with the stuff you already have. We need this attitude in order to master the other financial principles we have studied in this series, especially avoiding debt, impulse purchases, and get-rich-quick schemes.
One of the secrets of being satisfied is understanding that we don't own things. Things own us! We are slaves to our stuff. Jesus warned us,
"No one can serve two masters at the same time. He will hate one of them and love the other. Or he will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can't serve God and Money at the same time." (Matthew 6.24)
Often we see TV preachers who fail to understand this principle. They claim that if you have enough faith in God, you will become rich with material things. The Bible warns us about those kinds of preachers.
"They think that serving God is a way to get rich. If we are satisfied with the things we have while we serve God, we will gain in what has true value. We brought nothing into the world, so we can take nothing out. But, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that. Those who want to become rich bring temptation to themselves and are caught in a trap. They want many foolish and harmful things that ruin and destroy people. The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow." (1 Timothy 6.5-10)
"We brought nothing into the world, so we can take nothing out." That is so true. Someone once asked an accountant of a wealthy individual who had recently died, "How much did he leave?"
The accountant answered, "All of it."
A wise man who understood the principle of contentment once offered this prayer:
"Lord, I ask You for two things.  Keep me from lying and being dishonest. And  don't make me either rich or poor; but give me only the bread I need each day. If I have too much, I might reject You and say, 'I don't know the Lord.' If I am poor, I might steal. Then I would bring shame to the name of my God." (Proverbs 30.7-9)
Next month our final lesson in this series will give us another important key to the secret of contentment.
~~ Pastor Ron
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Pastor Ron Friedrich