And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:19
In the USA we are so blessed. Compared to much of the rest of the world, we are abundantly rich. The entrepreneurial streak is almost bred in us. The American dream is something we all try to achieve, but for so many others on this planet it is too far out of reach to even fathom trying. We shop for 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath homes with granite counter tops., walk in closets and three car garages, while many people’s whole house in other countries could fit inside a one car garage.
So, this stern statement by Jesus seems to rub us the wrong way. After all, doesn’t Scripture say God has great plans for us to prosper? Doesn’t this seem contradictory? Should we not pray for our finances to increase? Doesn’t God want to shower us with blessings?
I think the clue in in the palm of our hands – small round coins that bear one of the most profound statements any coin could have – one that some politicians want removed: In God We Trust. Phillip Yancy once said it is harder for us Westerners to pray because we have so much and therefore tend to be self-reliant. When you have little, it is easier to turn to God. It is all in the attittude of how we feel about money and in realizing that it is from God that all blessings flow. We didn’t “make” that paycheck. God, the Creator of all things, made us with the talent, the brains and the drive to earn it. That’s the difference.
Jesus gave us two other clues. He tells us to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render to God that which is God’s, and for us not to be anxious about what we eat, drink or wear. Instead we are to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. Then the rest will come. In other words, all of our possessions should be stamped with In God We Trust. Trust Him to provide, to tell us what to do with what He has given us, and to let go of it when He says to do so. The one with the most toys doesn’t win. It is the one who dedicates those toys back to God for His glory and use.
That is something I must constantly remind myself, especially when the green meanie called envy bubbles up in me. How about you?