The story of wrestler Yussif teaches us an important lesson about priorities. Are you telling yourself the truth about possessions? Are you hearing God’s warning about priorities?
There’s an old Japanese proverb that says, “Getting money is like digging with a needle; spending it is like water soaking into sand.” We all nod in agreement. Who hasn’t known the struggle of financial frustrations? And even those who have plenty become disillusioned because money does not satisfy. As Seneca the Roman once stated, “Money has never yet made anyone rich.” But on we go, pushing and striving, planning and struggling to earn more so we can have more, then invest more and enjoy more. Fat chance! The more time we spend earning more money to buy more stuff, the less time we have to enjoy our stuff.
Those who hasten after wealth don’t find satisfaction. Instead they discover loneliness, emptiness, and broken relationships.
Teaching your children how to deal with finances covers four areas: giving, earning, spending, and saving.
It’s difficult to make sacrifices and give others our time, possessions, and money. But it’s in the giving we learn to rely on God instead of ourselves and it’s in the process we learn faith.
People believe there’s an attachment between a good God and a prosperous income. And they pay a lot of money to hear the prosperity gospel preached. But it’s a false gospel, and it’s a trap. God and greed are poles apart.
Hilarious generosity begins with contentment. It’s being satisfied with and grateful for all we have and are able to experience. We must understand what contentment is...and what it is not.
No really, what would you do for 10 million dollars? Although it’s easier for us to trust in money than in God much of the time it can bring no lasting satisfaction, only a desire for more.
True giving means giving to God with no expectation of return. It’s a mark of real faith, because though we are giving to a visible person or organization, we are doing it in a way that signals our mind and heart is surrendered to an invisible God.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly, not under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,” (2 Corinthians 9:7). “Cheerful” in Greek actually translated “hilarious.” God loves a hilarious giver—you give because you want to laugh out loud, because your heart is light.
Everything we have is a gift from God and once you learn to appreciate what you’ve been given, giving back is a natural response. Generosity increases contentment and instead of striving for more, you enjoy what you have.