Wealth – Blessing or Curse?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

The Franklin expedition to the Arctic in 1945 is well known. All 129 officers and crew died.

Annie Dillard tells of the ill-fated Franklin expedition:

That odyssey was a turning point in Arctic exploration because of its well-publicized failure. The preparations made were more suitable for the Royal Navy officer’s club in England than for the frigid Arctic. The explorers made room on their ships for a large library, a hand organ, china place settings, cut-glass wine goblets, and sterling silver flatware instead of additional coal for their steam engines. The ornate silver flatware was engraved with the individual officer’s initials and family crests. Search parties found clumps of bodies of men who had set off to walk for help when their supplies ran out. ONe skeleton wore his fine blue cloth uniform edged with silk braid, hardly a match for the bitter arctic cold. Another apparently chose to carry with him the place setting of sterling silver flatware. What must he have been thinking to take sterling silver tableware in search for help and food?

One cannot imagine that any of these sail adventurers would have said, as they neared death on the frozen landscape, “I wish I had brought more silver place settings.”

Our hanging on to things that are ultimately useless will look no less foolish.

God has no problems with wealth or nice things. The problem is when we begin treasuring wealth and nice things over God and his people.

We are to use things to serve people. Too often, we get this backwards. We use people to gain more things.

The problem is there is not a single thing we can transfer over to the kingdom of God. Things are supposed to be used for God’s kingdom. And in that context, wealth and things are good things. It’s when wealth owns us.

Someone wise once said there are three conversions in a maturing Christian:

  • the conversion of the heart
  • the conversion of the mind
  • the conversion of the purse

Jesus made it clear. “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

Friends, use what God has given you to bless others and to expand the kingdom of God. 

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