Is Your Life Measured By How Much You Own?

I wrote a blog: “Does your position or job determine who you are?”   A person having a prestigious position is treated differently than an individual who sells, for example, insurance or is involved in a pyramid organization.  The same is true, to some extent, if people know you have wealth.  I have known a number of individuals who were power hungry and their position or their wealth meant everything to them.  They used their wealth or position to impress others in order to get what they wanted.  There were times when people would ask where I worked and what did I do.  I would reply by saying I was a store manager.  It just happened to be one of the largest department stores in Las Vegas.  You could tell some would be impressed.  When I started my own business and became a consultant, people asked what I did for a living, I would tell them.   I quickly learned some will treat you differently.  It is actually very sad that we place a person’s importance by the position they hold.  It is just as wrong to measure a person by the amount of wealth they have accumulated, whether it is earned or inherited.

Philippians 2:3 – 4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of us should look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

True humility is having the proper perspective of ourselves.  It does not mean we are to put ourselves down.  A humble person is always seeking the good of other people.  Christ was not only equal to God; He existed in the form of God.  He deliberately abandoned the glory and became a servant.  He did not give up His divine attributes.  He did not cease to be God.  He assumed being human without giving up His divine nature.  He came as a servant of God with a desire to do those things that He knew would please and give joy to God, His father.  We too were created and put on this earth that we may please and bring joy to God.  Unless that is our goal we may never sense fulfillment or satisfaction.  In giving pleasure to God, we fulfill the deepest and most basic needs of our own lives.

Luke 12:15 – “Then he said, ‘Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.’” NLT – Luke 12:21 – “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

If we don’t have the right relationship with God and our heart is filled with greed, wealth can become an obstacle between us and God.  From the very beginning God required the giving of a tenth of what they had accumulated.

Genesis 4:2 – 5 – “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.  And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” NIV

We do not know why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice.  It could have been Cain’s attitude was not right. He could have resented having to sacrifice or the sacrifice was not up to God’s standard.  However, the Bible is very clear; God expected His people to tithe the first tenth of what they had.  When they don’t it seems God is not pleased.  It affects our relationship with Him.

My wife and I have tithed for over fifty years.  There was a time when in 1987 I left a well paying job to start my own business.  The first couple of months my income was zero.  By the end of two years the only thing we had left was a very small amount in an IRA.  Throughout those two years we continued to tithe on what little I made.  Then my income became sufficient to meet our needs.  As the business grew and the income increased we feel it was what God allowed and provided us to have.  There is absolutely no doubt in our minds, God helped build our business.  Today it is supporting four families.

As we went through the two years of living from pay day to pay day we trusted the promises God gives in the Bible.  There was never a day or night worrying about how or whether we would make it.  We knew it would be just a matter of time until God would allow us to prosper.  I believe that trust came from the many years of tithing and studying to know that God would meet our needs. He did just what He promised He would do.  I didn’t want my relationship with God to be like He had with Cain.  If God requires the first tenth, I am grateful to live on the rest and it has been adequate.  If you do not tithe I hope our experience will encourage you to begin.   Otherwise, pray that God will give you the faith to trust Him.  Trusting faith gives hope and assurance that changes everything no matter what we must face.  It is also the knowledge of knowing the Holy Spirit is within us to assist, by guiding and checking our decisions.

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