Since World War II, depression rates are ten times greater, and teen suicide has tripled. Jeff Gordon suggests that the pursuit of wealth and affluence is the culprit of discontent in our culture. We cannot reach happiness by pursuing wealth more than our goals.
I Timothy 6.6-10,17 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Gordon argues it’s a false assumption in Christianity that wealth is a gift to be pursued. It’s an incomplete assumption. Yes, wealth is a gift. But what’s the purpose for which God extends such gifts? Genesis 12 indicates that blessings received are intended to be blessings given to others. Blessings are intended to be shared. Hoarded blessings become a curse.
Old Testament Learnings on Affluence
- Sabbath Year was intended to break the
relentless pursuit of more.
- The Year of Jubilee was intended to break the
widening gap between rich and poor.
- In all things, Israel was asked to remember
where their gifts came from. Forsaking justice
to the poor is labeled as idolatry.
Jesus Learnings on Affluence
- Jesus lived as a vagabond.
- Camels can walk through an eye of a needle more
easily than the rich can enter the kingdom.
- Build up treasures for heaven, not earth.
- Where your treasure is, there your heart will be
I Timothy 6.17-19 17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Pursue generosity now for eternal wealth later.