"Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with it's scorching heat and withers the grass; it's flower falls and it's beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits." James 1:9-11 ESV
If you are a Christian, you know as well as I do that none of us are taking any of our possessions with us when we die. Let me ask an honest question here, why do we act like we will? If our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and, as His heirs, it all belongs to us someday, why are we trying to have it all while we're still here?
We are to take care of our own, that I know. We're not to go out and recklessly spend our money when, for instance, we know the cupboards are nearly empty or we'll be needing a new vehicle soon. But where did we ever get the idea that it's some kind of a godly attribute to store up a pile for the future? He said, "Take no thought for the morrow." (Matthew 6:25-34). What would happen if we took Him at His word?
What if we lived on the minimum of our salary and gave the rest away? What if we actually took Jesus seriously about giving to the needy? What if we quit worrying so much about what the poor man on the corner will do with our money and gave if the Lord prompted us? What if we helped the struggling family at church without asking to see a copy of their budget? What if we actually lived as if our money wasn't ours, because it belongs to the Lord anyway? I wonder what God could do with Christians who actually took Him at His word?
I'll tell you the truth. Most of our married lives we have taken Him at His word out of necessity. Our money has pretty much been spoken for before it's ever in our hands, so there hasn't really been much chance for us to store up anything. But guess what? He has always provided for us!
Like accepting the ratty couch because you don't have a choice, maybe not storing up extra when you can't isn't really that difficult. I'll admit that once the money isn't all spoken for, the idea of laying the extra aside becomes tempting. After all, we deserve to have a big house and nicer vehicles and life a little easier after all these years! We deserve to have a fellowship hall in our church and a gymnasium and a larger sanctuary. We deserve a nicer building for our business and a La Z Boy in our office...... Really? Why? Will it make it look to others like Jesus is valuable in our lives?
I think a lot of us Christians are cheating the Lord out of huge opportunities to prove His word reliable because we refuse to give, the way He intended us to and we live with an 'I deserve this' mentality. Like Otto Koning says, "God is not stuck for riches, He's using gold like pavement up there!" I think it would be exciting to get a little radical with our giving and our living, and see what God might do.