John D. Rockefeller once said that there were three simple rules for anyone who wanted to be rich: 1. Go to work early. 2. Stay at work late. 3. Find oil.
Many of us find wealth just as ellusive as Mr. Rockefeller points out. We may even be praying for a gusher to hit in the backyard. But what does God really think about how much we make any way? Could it be that He is less interested in how much we earn… and more interested in how much we honor Him with what we have been given.
James says that “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.” How he reach such a lofty height? The mere fact that he has less possessions makes him less likely (though not immune) to picking up the Greed Bug. Eugene Peterson writes of this particular ailment in Tell it Slant:
Greed is a nearly invisible sin, a tiny parasite that makes its home in the intestines of wealth. … The Christian who learns to enjoy all the goods of this earth as gifts of God is no less vulnerable than the person who assumes that he deserves everything he has because of his hard work. We are rich. We have more than we need. The moment we are wealthy, …We are liable to greed. … We quit thinking of wealth as love to be shared and begin calculating it as power to be used. We reinterpret our wealth and position as something we are in charge of and others as the poor that we must organize and direct and guide. … Our neighbors admire us (but not usually our families). We get promotions. And nobody notices that we are sick, sick with the covet parasite. (Tell it Slant, pp. 62-63.)
Small paycheck? You may be more wealthy… and healthy… than you knew!