Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week #6 Proverbs 15:16 "I'd Rather Be Rich"

"Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil."

The 1964 movie "I'd Rather Be Rich" starring Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet and Andy Williams had a bouncy, catchy theme song that declared,
"Well, I've been poor, and I've been rich,
And now that I know which is which,
I'd rather be rich, rather be rich,
Rather be rich!!"

Who wouldn't agree to a statement like that? After a long, hard work week, probably most of us would.

And I can honestly say that, in my own lifetime, I have been poor (praise God that He took good care of me during those days...another story in itself) and have been rich...and I know which is which.

Lest you think I am now going to say the self-denying, religious thing and tell you that I would rather be poor... think again. I would really rather not go back to the days when I lived paycheck to paycheck and had to cut back, or completely cut out, things that other Americans consider to be "essentials."

But now that life is economically much easier for me, I do have to take this proverb to heart. The bible is full of admonishments to us about the effects money can have on our lives and our character. 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil, and has caused many to wander from the faith. Ecclesiastes says that those who love money will ultimately never be satisfied by it.

For these reasons, I consider my "wealth" to be a gracious trust given to me by God. Many have proven that they can't handle any great amount of wealth in their lives. I thank God that He has entrusted me with the finances He has given to me.

But, what I have also learned, is that being entrusted with "wealth" is more than just money management and exercising financial savvy. It also is about life management. Faith management. Heart management.

In 1 Timothy, Paul talks about how money can make some wander from the faith. He is not just talking about whom we trust, but whom we love. I knew that when "wealth" came into my life, I needed to run to God, more than ever.

Yes, when I was poorer in the pocketbook, I ran to God so He would provide for me. Now that some would call me "rich," I run to God, so that I might not forget Him or start to rely on myself and my bank account.

Wealth can be taken away from us in an instant. In this rough economy, we have seen too many examples of this. But there is something that can never be taken away from us. You guessed it. It's written in Romans 8. "Nothing can separate us from the love of God."

That, dear Readers, is our true wealth. God loves us. The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills loves us. All that He has is ours. We...His prodigal children... will share in His riches in heaven. One day, we will all be "rich." Rich with blessings, rich with joy, all while living in the mansion in heaven He has prepared for us.

So, how can we define "rich"? Those who wait on the LORD and His kingdom. And "poor"? Those who rely and deny. Rely on their own wealth, and deny the One who provided it.

If that is the definition of "rich," then yeah.....I'll sing along with Robert Goulet and Andy Williams. "I'd rather be rich, rather be rich, rather be RICH!" because I never want to go back to the days when I didn't know the LORD.

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