“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7 NKJV)
Proverbs often deals with the paradoxes of life. One of the greatest paradoxes deals with how we work with money. Money’s become so important to people that they’ll do just about anything to accumulate money or material things. They want others to know how rich (and thus, important) they are and they spend a lot of money on the accoutrements that they think rich people will have. Their only concern is how any decision will affect their net worth. In hoarding what they don’t spend to look rich, if there’s any money left over after the credit card payments, they develop attitudes that isolate them from others lest the others be a threat to the riches they worked so hard to gain. They have everything, but they really have nothing. Aside from bad business decisions or making bad investments, which I don’t think is being talked about here, the only way to make yourself poor intentionally is to give your money away. And, if you’re doing that right, it’s because you’re doing it to help others. I recently gave a small donation to help a friend achieve a lifetime goal. (The only reason I’d mention this is because it was a small donation.) As I did it, I began to reflect on how much fun I had giving to help others. I realized that when I buy something for myself, too often I end up being disappointed because it didn’t work exactly the way I expected it to work. On the other hand, when I give to support Christian work, good community organizations, or individuals, there’s a sense of satisfaction that even though I hadn’t given much, I’ve helped someone else minister or achieve a dream. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
Is the accumulation of wealth a goal or a tool for you? Do you have dreams of hitting the lottery or getting some other financial windfall so that you can live at ease and buy everything you need, or do you see things like that as opportunities to help others? Here’s my challenge to you. Try this giving thing out for yourself. Without affecting your current giving, find anywhere from five to twenty dollars a month that you can use to bless others. You may want to support an organization that does important work. You may want to help a friend with a need, especially if you can do it anonymously. Experience the joy of giving out of love and you’ll begin to understand in a very small way God’s joy in giving so that we can be in a relationship with Him.
Lord, You bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. Remind me that You’re less concerned with the amount of stuff in my life and that you’re more concerned with the attitudes of our hearts. Hep us imitate You by giving to others.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.