In all of “Life’s Lessons”, God chooses different times to teach me, but this is one that God has taught me since a child. The 10th “Life’s Lesson” is Living With what God has Given Me.
Even though I may be a missionary and a preacher, I still must remember what the words of Christa are: “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Lu 12:15). I can not place my eyes upon what my hands can grasp. I must be careful to not covet big things that are not meant for me.
For me this truth goes back to my childhood. I did not grow up in a big house and have money to spare. I thank God for the way He allowed me to be raised and do not regret it at all. But I must be honest about this truth. When I became a missionary, I began to administer money that I had not administered before. I began to see that while we were on deputation that we could have went to better restaurants or bought nicer items for our house, etc. But the Lord reminded me that none of this was “real” riches. Life does not consist of these riches one posses. The money was not to look at or covet after, rather a tool to use for the Lord and the Lord’s work.
So I had a choice … to buy better items for me, to have bigger toys, to order more food, to be more in style … or to administer honestly what I was given. This passage really struck me in Hebrews 12:11 – “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Wow! So I can be self disciplined in not wasting money and goods placed in my hand or I can use it up as I wish … but later have nothing to show for it.
For many, the test is not when they don’t have money, rather how they act when they do have money. Will it change me? Will it affect me? Psalm 62:10 is pretty clear what I am to do: “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” Sometimes I look back and see how much better it was when there was not much money. When money does come in at different phases of life, I must be careful how to react, how to administer it.
So the “Life’s Lesson” is really not that hard to understand. Serve God with little or with much, but don’t change how I live and serve God because of money. Money is a tool and many times can be put in my hands to try my heart – if my heart is placed on God or on cash. Money takes wings and flies away as an eagle towards heaven, therefore I should not place my eyes upon it. Living with what God has given Me is the best way to live. Not coveting what another has, not changing because I now have, etc. May God help me to always live within the range He has given me and be satisfied there.