I have a lot of wealthy friends. We live in really different financial spheres and sometimes the money gap is comical. For example, I was thrilled to go to Florida and one friend vacationed at a Mediterranean oasis. I bought a new house (that I love!) and one friend bought a new house that makes my house look like her bonus room. Another friend eloquently remarked, “Jana I live in a land with lots of zeros, so I am not worried about the cost of this.”
I laughed out loud. I can’t even imagine making such a statement.
The odd thing though is my wealthy friends also make heart-wrenching comments. Two of them said recently that they have a hard time with close friendships because people are jealous of them and that people judge them for how they spend their money.
These comments rattled my soul. For several reasons. I love my friends. Deeply. And they love me. Deeply.
I would hope that their love for me would not fluctuate as my income fluctuates. As in, when I have no money, I would have no friendship? So then, why would having a surplus of income mean a sacrifice of friendship?
Do we really believe that more money is the answer to most everything? If we are not careful, we will have our eyes on more money rather than on more of our Maker. Look at these statements from wealthy people in my world:
“I have so much money, I don’t really need Jesus for anything.”
“I had an opportunity to make millions, but I don’t think that is what’s best for my family or my own soul. I don’t think this is God’s plan for me right now.”
“I am thankful for the money we have, but my friends think I don’t have any problems. They think their life is harder than mine. And it gets very lonely.”
Do you hear the temptation? the poverty? the need? Suddenly the ground becomes very level at the Cross. Perhaps money isn’t the answer to everything. Here are real life people who have plenty of money, yet still have plenty of lack.
Theologian Henri Nouwen poignantly calls out that we are all poor in some areas and rich in some areas. Some have material wealth, some have spiritual wealth. Some have wisdom, some mercy. Yet above all things, he asks, where is our trust? The Lord is the source of all, for all.
Extreme security. These are the two words that God gave me in March. It was an invitation actually.
“How would you like to live in “extreme security?” He asked.
“What does this mean?” I said. Instantly I thought of paying opportunities that would give me more stability, more options. But that’s not what He had in mind.
“That you would be so convinced of My Provision that I would become your ‘extreme security’.”
“I would love this Lord, but I don’t know how.”
Trusting the goodness of God is our highest goal. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is why Jesus said you can’t love God and love money. You have to choose.
You can love God and use money. But you can’t love money and use God.
When I love God, I can learn to trust in His abundance for my every need. Enter peace.
When I love money, I am constantly grasping for more to meet my own needs. Enter exhaustion.
My wealthy friends already know this. They have all they need financially and more. (Which is why they give so much away.) They already know that money doesn’t meet ALL their needs. Only God can do that.
So regardless of your financial status, how is your peace? What is your source? Where is your love?
Really let the Lord reveal your mental conversations as you compare yourself to others, or even despise others for their surplus or lack. Are you asking God to meet your needs? Are you accusing God of not taking care of you? How about this— are you thanking God for what you do have?
And, likewise, let the Lord reveal your areas of spiritual wealth. What areas are you so full that you might share with others? You may be rich in ways you have never considered. I love what 1 Timothy 6:6 says: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Godliness. Contentment. Great Gain. This sounds like a great path for us all, regardless of the number of zeros in our lives.
God is faithful to meet all our needs. May we be rich in trusting Him.