Monday, August 14, 2017

Don't Use Your Imagination



Our nation is driven by money. Many people believe that with a little more money, they can ‘get ahead.’ If they can just get ahead, things will be better.

“With more money will come security,” many think. They will not have to worry about juggling bills and skimping on necessities.

There is a perception that with more money a person will be accepted. After all, they will be able to purchase the clothing styles that are popular ‘now.’ They will be able to drive a late model vehicle. They will be able to have the latest technology, just like all their friends.

We see it all the time; people cater to the wealthy.

We put such importance on wealth that we train ourselves to believe that the wealthy are important, at least, more important than the rest of us. (And then we turn around and resent 'those' wealthy people for thinking they are better than the rest of us.)

Politicians listen to the wealthy because the wealthy contribute to their campaign. Nonprofit organizations listen to the wealthy because the contributions of the wealthy keep them in operation. Businessmen listen to the wealthy because it is good business. Some folks cater to the wealthy in hopes of receiving some sort of benefit; they want a 'piece of the pie.'

Solomon wrote:
   A rich man's wealth is his strong city, 
   And like a high wall in his own imagination.
   --Proverbs 18:11

The term ‘imagination’ is translated from a Hebrew word that meant ‘showpiece’ or ‘figure.’ It was sometimes used to describe carved images, the tangible result produced from a mental image.

Wealth, in the mind of a wealthy man, creates a mental image of strength and security, a 'high wall.'

Now, let’s back up one verse and see true reality:
   The name of the LORD is a strong tower; 
   The righteous runs into it and is safe.
   --Proverbs 18:10

Will you accept reality, or is wealth stronger than the Lord?
Will you accept reality, or is wealth better than righteousness?
Will you accept that wealth is an illusion, or have you already created your own illusion of its strength and security?

When it comes to money... Don’t use your imagination.
Be wise.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Transparent


A child is overheard heard calling to his father, “Dad! Watch this! Watch, dad, watch!” Children love for their parents to watch.

A child is often quiet when caught doing something wrong. He wishes his dad had not been watching at that moment.

   The eyes of the LORD are in every place, 

   Watching the evil and the good.
   --Proverbs 15:3

How does this proverb strike your mind?
Is God the father you wish to call out to so that He will watch you? Or do you feel ashamed when you think about God hoping that He does not look your way (because you know you do not measure up to His standard)?

In reality, He is the same God. He sees the good AND the evil. He IS watching. He sees everything.

Perhaps the question is not about how you feel about this reality, but whether you have a relationship with God. You see, if  you are a child of God, then even when He sees you doing evil, He will act for your good. 

God is the loving father who is joyful when we do good; and He is the loving father and disciplinarian when we do something wrong. The goal of His discipline is to provide correction and move us back to the right path. He loves his children and always acts for their good, whether blessing or discipline.

Be wise and take inventory of your relationship with God.

Monday, August 7, 2017

ANOTHER ILLU$ION


   Wealth adds many friends, 
   But a poor man is separated from his friend.
   --Proverbs 19:4

What does this proverb tell you about friends?

It would seem that some friends can be rather fickle. Lots of folks would love to be your friend as long as you have money. But when the money is gone, they are gone too. 

Friends like that are sometimes called ‘fair-weather friends.’ They are friends in good times (fair weather), but not in bad.
(Remember the 'friends' of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15?)

What does this proverb tell you about wealth and poverty?

At first glance, it would seem that wealth is better than poverty. After all, wealth assures a person of many friends. However, if we understand that wealth attracts fickle friends, we see the true nature of wealth. Wealth can only create the illusion of friends.

Think about marriage vows for a moment. Typical marriage vows include the lines:
   For better or for worse;
   For richer or for poorer.
In other words, the marriage vows assure the bride and groom that their relationship is based on something much deeper than money and 'fair weather' circumstances.

Wealth is overrated.
Wealth creates illusions of grandeur.
Wealth has no benefit after this life.
Have you ever watched a wealthy person die? It is not their wealth that gives them confidence. It is not wealth that calms their fears.

The lesson is not to hate wealth and love poverty. That does not make sense. Rather, we must view wealth as neither good nor evil. However, it IS an illusion.

Don’t be fooled by the illusion.
Wealth will not insure true friendship.
Those who accept you or reject you based on your wealth or poverty are not real friends. So, don't chase after wealth and its illusion.