People don’t like talking about being rich, even if they are.
Money magazine did a survey about how people defined being “rich”:
— and nobody thought he fit it. For each and every person, “rich” was roughly double the amount possessed by the person defining it. In other words, when they interviewed people who earned $30,000 a year, that group defined “rich” as someone who earns $60,000. When they interviewed people who earned $50,000 a year, the magic number was $100,000.
There’s a pastor in the States that talks about the subject really, really well. His name is Andy Stanley and I’m a big fan of his. He did a preaching series, and then wrote a book. If you like sermons you can listen to them here: 2011 2012 2013 2014
I think it’s indicative of how much help we need on the subject, that he has preached this series for four years running…
I read it on Kindle on my way back from Tanzania, where I had just spent a week on a safari, driving past little African children… who lived in mud-brick huts. It was exactly what I needed to read. I knew that as a Christian I was not called to just spend on myself, but while I had some vague notions to give to church and to charity it nevertheless felt like managing my finances in light of the very great and urgent need of others was overwhelming and my view on money was a totally insufficient.
So I highly recommend this book if you, too, care to beef up your understanding on just what it means to be good at being rich.
money does two things to people: It makes us arrogant, and over time it becomes our primary source of hope, leaving us with the impression that we are self-sufficient.
Human nature tells us that our identities are defined by our possessions. That started in high school, didn’t it? Early on we learned that we are the sum of what we own.
Proverbs 18:11 describes the migration of hope this way: “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.”
when things are going well financially — and we’re experiencing a long string of situations in which we’ve needed something and all we had to do was reach for our wallets — our hope will tend to migrate.
the writer of that proverb said the rich “imagine” a wall too high to scale. The wall exists only in their imaginations. In reality, there’s no amount of money that can protect us from everything.
If we allow our hope to migrate toward riches, we’ll start to hoard.
What do you do in order to put your hope in God? What are the steps? Look at what Paul says next: Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:18) There you go. A step-by-step plan for keeping your hope from migrating.