Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I Wish I Could Get Attacked For That...

During the last presidential campaign, I heard a commercial blasting one of the presidential candidates as someone who used to have a Swiss bank account. Aside from the fact that owning a Swiss bank account doesn't have any direct bearing on one's qualifications to be president, my first thought as I heard the commercial was, "I wish I had a Swiss bank account!"

Then I got to thinking about what I would do if I had enough money to warrant a Swiss bank account. Obviously I would be saving some of it (that's what Swiss bank accounts are for), but what else would I do? I would imagine that many of us have those fantasies from time to time. What would I do if I won the lottery? What would I do if someone left me a million dollars? How would I spend that kind of money? I've known a few people who suddenly came into money and I have discovered that the answer to that question is surprisingly predictable: they spend it on the same kinds of things they already spend their money on, just to greater extremes. People who already spend money on their family tend to spend even more. People who give to the church tend to give even more. People who waste their money tend to waste it even more.

As I was pondering this phenomenon I ran across this verse from Psalm 37:26 about the righteous person, "He is always generous, always lending…" (HCSB). When I read that verse, I immediately played the devil's advocate (not literally), asking, "Well what if he doesn't have much money?" But then I realized the verse didn't say, "He is generous when he has a lot" or "He lends money when he can afford to." The proverb says, "He is always generous, always lending…" The righteous person doesn't give because he can afford to; the righteous person gives because of who he is.

Jesus reinforced this principle in a number of parables, most notably the parable of the talents where three different men are given sums of money to use in their lord's name. At the end of the story, those who have been faithful with the little they have been given are rewarded with more and the one who did not manage for his lord's benefit had everything taken away from him. Jesus ends the parable with the master telling his faithful managers, "You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share in your master's joy!" (Matthew 25:21,23, HSCB). Jesus was teaching that what you do with a little, you will also do with a lot.

If you ever wondered how you would handle a sudden influx of wealth, look at the things you spend your money on now and you will find out. Be faithful and generous with the little you have and you never know when God might give you the opportunity to be faithful and generous even more.

A Sniveling Little Weasel Like You

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 22:8-16 Oddly, it is one of my all-time favorite movie lines. The movie is Independence Day . The evil aliens...