In his book “How Much Is Enough? Hungering For God In An Affluent Culture,” author Arthur Simon writes about Bryce and Ellen, “a couple in their mid-thirties. They have two sons and a daughter, and on Sundays the family attends church more often than not.”
“Bryce manages about twenty people in a medium-sized accounting firm. He receives a good salary and is on a path that he believes may eventually move him into a circle of company executives, so he goes to work early, often stays late, and usually works some on weekends.
“Ellen has a part-time job with a public relations firm, which allows her to manage the kids and take care of the house. None of this is easy, but it has enabled them to buy a house in an upscale neighborhood and a lot of recreational hardware, including a raft of toys, a couple of TVs for the children’s rooms, and a small yacht.”
“Bryce and Ellen already talk about one-day taking early retirement and moving to a place where they can enjoy year-round outdoor sports. Though deeply in debt, they are able to make timely payments and take pride in contributing ‘more than most’ to church in dollar amount, which at 2.5 percent of their income is about average for church members.”
Simon continues, “They would be astonished–probably offended–to have anyone suggest that they are beholden to [money]. Yet their plans and dreams, and the dreams they are nourishing in their children, are overwhelmingly directed that way.”
In Tuesday’s post, we wrote about 5 Things More Important Than Money. Here are 5 more for your reflection.
Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote in the front of my Franklin planner reminds me of the importance of time every day. “Dost thou love life? Then do no squander time for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
The Bible reminds us to “make the best use of the time” (Eph 5:16). “To number our days” (Ps 90:12) And realize that our time on earth is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (Jas 4:14).
Money can be replaced. Time cannot. Harvey McKay put this way: “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”
The apostle Peter says our faith is “more precious than gold that perishes” (1 Pet. 1:7).
Don’t take your faith for granted. It’s possible to lose our faith. The Bible speaks of those who’ve “strayed” from the faith.” Made “shipwreck” of their faith. And “Departed” from the faith.
Nurture and nourish your faith. Protect your faith. Add to your faith. And diligently work to grow a deeper faith. Of course, for that to happen we must stay connected to God’s Word (Rom 10:17). Read it. Study it. And meditate on it. The survival of your faith depends on it.
Anthony J. D’Angelo once said, “The most important things in life aren’t things.” People are more important than possessions.
The people in our lives–our family, friends and the fellowship of our church family are more valuable than any amount of money. People enrich our lives. Provide stability. Add to our significance. If we put riches ahead of relationships, we will live to regret it.
The book of Proverbs extols the virtue and value of wisdom. Solomon said, “Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her (Prov 8:11).
Wisdom when directed by divine knowledge, will keep you away from all kinds of trouble. It will guard your heart. Guide your footsteps. And lead you away from enticements of sinful people.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Prov 4:7).
#5 Your Soul.
Jesus forever defined the value of one soul. Your soul is worth more than the combined riches of the entire world (Matt 16:26).
Everything is life in temporal and transitory. Money. Material possessions. Even our bodies. But the soul lives on beyond the grave. Thus, we must make every effort to secure its salvation. And by God’s grace, we can.
“Money often comes between men and God,” observed A. W. Tozer, “Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes–the mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye.”
Money has its place. Just not first place. Don’t allow any amount of money to become between you and the most important things in life.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman