Matthew 19: 16 – 22 – ‘Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good things must I do to get eternal life?” … Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.’
The issue here is not wealth and the accumulation of it – it is the unwillingness to let it go. Although this young man kept all the commandments, it seemed he knew something was missing.
He didn’t murder or commit adultery; he didn’t steal or give false testimony; he honoured his parents and loved his neighbour. Yet he asked, “What do I still lack?” (verse 20).
Although he sought an answer, he wasn’t happy with the one Jesus gave. He wasn’t willing to part with his earthly riches to gain an eternal reward. It isn’t a bad thing to work hard, be successful and gain wealth.
It is a bad thing to store up riches on earth and be so attached to them, that we don’t use them to do Kingdom minded things. Whenever you’re in a place of abundance, are you willing to give it away where God points out a need to you?
I’m a fan of the horse industry. One of my favourite racehorse trainers was Bart Cummings. The Cups King at one point in his racing career after winning millions of dollars, lost it all. Through hard work and perseverance, he built this up again. I have read that if a successful person loses all the finances they had achieved, give them a few years and they will build it up again.
God wants to bless us – if he knows that through us, He can use it to bless others. Don’t be afraid to give away that which He has blessed you with; He can do it all over again – and more! Don’t hold on too tight to that He’s given you; be willing to give it away if He directs you to.
Financial tip – learn to give! God will only give it to you, if He can get it through you!