Striking the Right Balance

A Billionaire’s Testimony

Fortune Magazine quotes a comment made by billionaire H.Ross Perot:

“Guys, just remember, if you get real lucky, if you make a lot of money, if you go out and buy a lot of stuff—it’s gonna break. You got your biggest, fanciest mansion in the world. It has air conditioning. It’s got a pool. Just think of all the pumps that are going to go out. Or go to a yacht basin any place in the world. Nobody is smiling, and I’ll tell you why. Something broke that morning. The generator’s out; the microwave oven doesn’t work………Things just don’t mean happiness.”

In 1Timothy 6:17, we are warned of 2 dangers which can build a barrier between us and Christ, between us and our neighbor, and between us and true happiness. This verse says:

Command 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 every-
thing for our enjoyment.

This verse warns us of the dangers of false pride and false security, where we trust the gifts more than the Giver. The proper object of our human trust is not a thing but a Person.

Avoiding Spiritual Ditches

But notice that Paul is not telling us to exchange materialism for asceticism, where we end up despising God’s good gifts of creation and attempt to live an austere life. Instead, God is a generous Creator, who wants us to be grateful for the good gifts of creation. We are to use them and not be guilty of it.

But the LORD doesn’t want our ultimate trust and our greatest satisfaction to be in them. This would be a form of spiritual adultery. It would be like a husband who would enjoy hunting or football more than his wife. The husband would be guilty of a form of adultery in relation to his wife. The mistress would be hunting or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This week at our church we will be celebrating Communion. The Lord’s Table provides an excellent place and time to renew our trust and love for God and to our neighbor. It also gives us a good opportunity to hear exhortations like 1Timothy 6:18,19:

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be
generous and willing to share. 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.

Let us yield ourselves anew to the LORD, and let us give thanks to Him, not only for the good gifts of creation, but also for the most precious gift of all: His Son, Jesus – our Redeemer and Friend. True contentment is found in using material things to serve the LORD and to love my neighbor.

QOTD:  Do my ultimate trust and satisfaction rest in a Person or things?