The Wrong and the Right
October 2, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. - 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NKJV.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. - 1 Chronicles 29: 11-14 NKJV.
Something is wrong with a 22-year-old Chinese woman, Dan Dan, having to sell herself in marriage to raise the money for a classmate's surgery. About $24,000 is needed to cover the treatment her friend needs for encephalomyelitis. There is something wrong about the Sultan of Brunei spending about $24,000 for a haircut when the money could be used in a much better way. There is something wrong about anyone buying a $24,000 diamond studded computer mouse offered by a Swiss company when the money could be used to help some who are facing desperate situations. There is something wrong about paying $24,000 for two melons at an auction in Japan, even though the melons were exquisite.
There is something right about a third-grader in Florida raising $24,000 selling lemonade to give to a cancer center. There is something right about the Franklin Central High School students in Indiana, who raised $24,000 for the Riley Hospital for Children. There is something right about the Arizona IHOP raising and giving $24,000 to the ChildHelp organization that is dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect, and at-risk children. There is something right about the Naples Women's Club in Florida raising and awarding $24,000 toward 18 college scholarships.
As David points out, “all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.” We are only stewards of those material things that we have in our possession. Everything that we have actually belongs to God. The apostle Paul advises Timothy and us of how those who do have material things ought to use them as he writes, “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.”
We may not be rich, and we may never have $24,000 in our bank account or even $24 in our bank account. However, even the dollar or the penny that we have, and the clothes that we wear; belongs ultimately not to us, but to God. We are to be good stewards of that penny, and of those clothes. As James, the half-brother of our Lord, says, “…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).”