Psalm 62:10 – “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them”
Many times in life, God blesses us – spiritually, physically, with friends, family, … and yes even materially. I don’t think anyone would turn down a raise at work, a bonus or a big financial gift, in fact, it makes it a pretty good day when God chooses to increase what we have. Although every person should be careful to not set their hearts upon the increase, I want to take this view from the point of someone in the ministry who receives increase in life. There are some grave dangers that can occur when the Lord chooses to give material increase in our lives, and I hope these simple thoughts can provoke strong reactions of carefulness as we minister for the Lord.
- Increase makes us want More
Let’s be honest, it is human nature to want more. The world has a strong marketing system on making us think that we need and have to have more of … anything. Technology advances and we begin to want the newest, fastest and best –and pretty soon we are not happy with what we currently have. We begin to want a better car, computer, phone, etc. If we are not careful, increase will only make us unsatisfied and want more.
- Increase makes us Stingy
Many people that have a sweet and generous spirit soon lose that spirit because increase has made them want to get and not to give. We must remember that it is still better to give than get (Acts 20:35), even if it sounds like a crazy idea. Being generous probably does not have as much to do with amounts as it does attitude. When someone wants to give and help it is a wonderful thing, but over and over I have seen that when someone is on the receiving end, they begin to hoard more than to be generous. I have received gifts from people both foreign and state-side and the temptation has been strong to think, “hey, I deserve this, this is great” – but when I see someone else who I could be a blessing to, I keep the bills tight in my pocket, not wanting to let go of them. Here is some great advice from the wisest earthly king: “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24). Don’t allow the increase to stop you from being generous, it should be an incentive to be more generous.
- Increase becomes Normal
It is wonderful when God brings increases into our lives, but if we are not careful we will begin to think we deserve it. At first we say thank you many times over, but after a while we almost expect it. Over and over God tells us to enter before Him or pray to Him with thanksgiving (Psalm 10o:4; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2). A child of God should thank the Lord for how God blesses… and it would do us all good to thank other people as well. An attitude of thankfulness sadly is not found as much as it should be.
Increase has ruined many a good man, both in churches and leaders in ministry. May God help all of us to not allow increase in our lives or ministries make us stingy or unthankful, may we learn to be humble and thankful for how good God is to us.
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions