I Was Thinking…
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that “Money often costs too much”. I have lived long enough to see that his words are profoundly true. I have known people who were very ‘well-to-do’ and yet not very happy. I have been the Pastor of people who had many zeros behind a number in their bank accounts but were relationally bankrupt and dying of loneliness. My heart has broken at the amount of integrity, family and friends that have been paid in order for someone to have more money. “Money often costs too much.”
What is it about our American culture that draws us into this trap? Is it competition with our neighbors? As my dad used to say in his sermons “A part of our problem is that we spend too much time and money trying to keep up with the Joneses.” Is it competition? Is it fear? Are we afraid of not having enough for which to live? It certainly takes dollars and cents to buy bread and shelter. Are we living in a state of fear so much so that we fear we will one day have nothing therefore we become ‘grabbers of all we can possibly get’ regardless of the cost? Is it fear?
Or is it that we have forgotten generosity? Jesus once said about forgiveness as reported by the Gospel writer Luke “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put in your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38 NRSV) I have found this to be true about forgiveness but not just forgiveness…it is also true about time, money, relationships, compassion, etc. It is in giving that we receive!
I have observed that some people never have much in life because they have not learned to give much in life. They become bitter and blaming and well, just totally unhappy. I have observed that some people have a lot in life but never know they have much because they hoard all that they are given. They become bitter and blaming and well, just totally unhappy. It is an interesting principle of life isn’t it? “Money often costs too much.”
I desire to remember grace this week. God through Jesus has given so much. I want the ‘generous’ mind of Christ in me. I want to be generous and gracious with every opportunity I am given. The Apostle Paul tapped into this principle when he listed the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, GENEROSITY, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
“Money often costs too much”. I have lived long enough to see these words to be profoundly true.