Heard recently on a TV advertisement…
“You are here on this earth to get rich.”
…spoken by the same individual who, when presented with the news that the world’s 85 richest people owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the global population,replied, it was “fantastic news.”In a January 2014 interchange between Amanda Lang and Kevin O’Leary he went on to say,
“It’s fantastic and this is a great thing because it inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the one percent and say, ‘I want to become one of those people,
I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top.’ This is fantastic news and of course I applaud it. What can be wrong with this? I celebrate capitalism. Don’t tell me that you want to redistribute wealth again, that’s never gonna happen…it’s a celebratory stat…If you work hard, you might be stinking rich one day.”i
…the same man who has also gained international notoriety on “Dragon’s Den” (CBC) and “Shark Tank” (ABC)!!
There is a wealth of websites promoting how to get rich, exploring the science of getting rich, discovering if being rich really brings you happiness, advertising get rich quick schemes…simply to mention a few.
One on-line dictionary defines richness as, “the quality of having high intrinsic value; the property of producing abundantly and sustaining vigorous and luxuriant growth; possessing great material wealth”.ii
Likewise, there is an abundance of quotes about richness one of which says,
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” – anon.
The biblical writer Luke grew up in a society where richness was seen as favor from God while poverty was viewed with contempt by religious leaders and thus indicative of God’s judgment. As Luke walked daily with Jesus Christ, he repeatedly witnessed the Master challenge this ideology. In the book of Luke alone there are at least 100 references to riches, wealth, greed, generosity, giving, selling possessions, God’s provision, treasures, value, and stewardship. Jesus demonstrated the proper attitude God wants us to have toward money and possessions. Luke also learned what richness is in the eyes of God:
- Seeking the kingdom of God above all else and depending on Him to provide everything you need
- Focusing on the truth of God’s Word instead of allowing the worries, riches, and pleasures of life to distract you
- Serving God with all your heart and finding the desires of your heart in line with His
- Being content with what you have and guarding against every kind of greed; life is not measured by how much you own
- Showing hospitality to those who have no way of repaying you
- Protecting your thoughts against being consumed with gathering and storing up wealth; you cannot take it with you when you die
- Being faithful with whatever has been entrusted to you
- Being a wise investor of your earnings and managing them well
- Realizing the folly of storing up goods for yourself and then sitting back, taking it easy, eating, drinking, and being merry
- Maintaining a humble attitude toward your status and possessions while esteeming others I am not here on earth to get rich! Rather, I should follow these instructions,
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (I Timothy 6:17-10, NLT)
Until next time,
**all photos taken by Kathy and James Lai