Whether we want to admit it or not, most of our lives revolve around money. That's not to say that we're all greedy for money, but just try living without it. "Little things" — like heat, lights, food, a dry warm place to live — almost always depend upon whether or not we have money don't they? One person said, "I've tried living with money and I've tried living with out it; life is much easier with it."
Most money is generated by work — either we are working or have worked to put aside money so that we can one day quit working. Work is important! Paul reminded the Christians in Thessalonica, "For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NRS). Not only do we need to work, we are expected to do it!
Getting money or having money seems to be an ongoing problem for many people. Most of us feel like we haven't been born into materially rich families. However, I like the way one fellow describes it: "Every human being has been 'Born Rich;' it's just that most people are temporarily a little short of money!" Bob Proctor is talking about the earning potential in material things. Whether we agree with him or not, as Children of God, we understand that being rich materially is not the most important thing. What is most important is realizing that all of us are born rich in spiritual things when we are born new into the Kingdom of God.
We find this interesting story in the ministry of Jesus:
Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." 16 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' 18 Then he said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20 But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God." ((Luke 12:13-21 NRS)
Being "rich towards God" is what life is all about? My job is one of the things that allow me to serve God in this world through my material possessions. Whether it is providing for my family or in giving help to others, my job is a means to the end or goal I have in sight. However, it is not the end or goal of my life, just like the material possessions it allows me to have are not my life's goal or end.
If we would just understand that our work (job) is not our life, but only provides us a way to live our lives, we would be much happier and satisfied. When our jobs become the focus of our lives and what we live for, then we have some of our priorities in the wrong places.
Are you rich? I am! Not in physical things, but my earnest desire is to be rich towards God, His church, and His people!