Getting Rich vs Being Rich

Dec 10th 2010

In a recent online issue of Catalyst Andy Stanley makes the following observation, “I know some people who are great at getting rich. But when it comes to being rich, I’m less than impressed.”  warren-buffett-tips-for-getting-richYou know what America is full of people who are great at getting rich.  We educate the masses on how to get great at getting rich.  Books, seminars, and tapes to help us play the stockmarket, invest in real estate, buy silver, and get that high paying job.  And if you aren’t interested in books, seminars or tapes, you can always just play the lottery.

Here is the problem with wanting to get rich… Paul writes to Timothy,  (I Timothy 6:9-10)

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Now let me make it abundantly clear, it’s not a sin to get rich, but danger abounds when our desire to get rich grows.  Paul goes on in I Timothy 6:17-19 to give instruction to those who are already rich.

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 everything for our enjoyment. 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.

This is instruction on how to be rich.  We think that “being rich” means we need to make wise choices about retirement plans, how to remodel the house in such a way that there is a good ROI when we sell, and whether we can afford the vacation in Hawaii or we have to settle for a condo in Orlando.

Paul says the best way to “be rich” involves…

  1. 1) Being intentional about putting our hope in God.
  2. 2) Being generous with our resources, doing good.
  3. 3) Keeping our eyes on eternity, lay up treasure for the life to come.

Here’s the deal.  If you are reading this, and live in America, you are rich. Don’t think you’re rich? If you make $25,000 you are in the top 10% of the richest people in the world, earn $35,000 top 5%.  You’re rich. Congratulations!  So here is a thought, what if we were to spend less time thinking about getting better at getting rich — we’ve already arrivedand spend more time thinking about getting good at being rich — Paul-style.

Hard to imagine a better time to practice being rich than at Christmas.  At Calvary our challenge is to give 1% of our annual income for  Christmas offering to serve those in need around the world.  If you want to join our challenge go to ONE% for more info.