Thursday, January 17, 2008

True Wealth

True Wealth - I just had to share some tremendous insights into this subject by a friend and business associate, Tim Darnell. It fits in exactly with the theme of this blog - health, wealth and wisdom! Hope you enjoy Tim Darnell's perspective on true wealth. You can subscribe to this weekly letter, Footsteps of Faith Messenger by going to the link above or by going here and clicking on the upper right corner of the site where it says "subscribe now."

Footsteps of Faith Messenger - Issue 189

Precious Rewards
Genesis 1-3
Psalm 106:3

Tim Darnell

What is most important to you? Have you lived most of your adult life striving to make money? Where is the majority of your time spent – being at work? By the way, why do you work – to make money? Would you do the work you’re doing if there was not a monetary reward awaiting you at the end of your work hours? I think we could surmise that we spend a whole lot of time, in fact, the majority of our time trading our time for money. By virtue of how much time we spend in the pursuit of money, it must be really important.

Let’s step back a bit and see if we can learn from the Bible a thing or two about what is most important. Spending a lot of time making money can actually be a good thing when we get our hearts right and go about it correctly. I’ll bet that raised some eyebrows! Don’t leave yet - read further, please.

In Genesis the first chapter, God is busy. He spends six days creating the world as we know it. His response to each aspect of creation was the refrain, “And God saw that it was good.” After God had rested on the seventh day, He noted that one thing was “not good”, and that was the fact that man was alone (2:18). And so, He created a woman to be the suitable helper for Adam.

Adam had everything – the Garden of Eden, dominion over the animals, every seed bearing plant and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. “They will be yours for food.” He also had gold - “the gold of that land is good” (2:12), aromatic resins and onyx – all things of value and pleasurable in Adam’s sight. He was master of the universe at that point in time. But without another person, the woman, he was alone. And that “being alone” condition was “not good” according to God.

You likely expect that this is a message about how bad money is, and you would be wrong. Adam’s stuff was “good”, all of it was declared “good” by God Himself – scripture is very clear about that. God gave it to Adam and mankind because He creates good things for our good. He purposely gives good things to us. But the good things are incomplete, by themselves. Our very life situations are incomplete without other people, in particular, our spouses. This is a clear message for you and me – it is “not good” to be alone.

Our greatest rewards are not stuff, but that’s not to say our things and our money are bad – not at all. No, our stuff is actually good - but “stuff” leaves us incomplete without other people in our lives.

The word, “righteousness” occurs in the Bible more than 300 times. It means “right relationships”. It also means “prosperity” and “wealth” when you understand how and why we are truly blessed. The fact is, true wealth is actually found in our relationships - the people in our lives that we treat with righteousness. We have a blessed union with others by dialoguing with them, being available to them, and sustaining the relationship throughout our lives. Our right relationships are exceedingly precious things of value in our lives.

Righteousness is vertical and horizontal. When we are right with God (the vertical), we experience true prosperity. When we are right with our fellow man (horizontal), we experience true wealth. When we serve others, we begin to understand what God really wants for us to do in life. When we give to others and help others, we create great wealth in our lives.

So, if you are working a lot of hours, you can actually experience wealth in the midst of that commitment – but not in the sense of more hours leading to more dollars. No, more dollars are good, but of much greater value is being able to serve and love our fellow man within the context of our business in the midst of our work. We can take care of one another in the marketplace. Your business is a great place to make that happen. In fact, serving others with right relationships is what business really is. And serving others is the truly rewarding aspect of all relationships.

Business is any entity that has customers. Having customers is nothing more than having relationships with others. The more genuine your service is to others, and the more customers you have, the greater the value you have placed into the world. You’ve given their lives something that they want and need to have. The money you receive from your service or products is simply a by-product of the “right relationship”. How important it is to understand that the quality of the relationship comes first! In the end, after the money and the service have long-since passed, it will be the relationship of two caring souls that is the most rewarding and memorable aspect of your knowing that person.

When children bicker and show selfish tendencies, we as parents are not impressed. It’s when our children finally treat their siblings with love and compassion that we as parents are gratified. When a child shows compassion for a sibling and goes out of their way to add value in their life - that represents a joyous milestone for us. We’re proud of them for creating a “right relationship”, rather than selfishly focusing on their own needs.

That’s what God want us to do in all our relationships. He’s already given us all the stuff we’ll ever need. He’s taken care of that aspect of our lives and will continue to do so. Believing and trusting in that fact is a large component of true “faith”. God is pleased when He sees us trusting Him, and when we’ve entered into “right relationships” with others – when we go out of our way to serve them, care for them, and show genuine love for them like He’s done for us.

Righteousness – “right relationships” with God and others is our reward. The better we get at serving others in genuine love and compassion, the more accurately we hit the mark, and experience true prosperity. The result of righteousness is fulfillment – the long-lasting kind. And yes, we can make some money along the way, a by-product of a good relationship.

God made all the stuff in the Garden. He made the gold and the money, too. It is good if He made it. But it’s not good to be alone. Let’s be sure to put our relationships first. Make them genuine. Make them long-lasting. And by doing so, true righteousness and the best kind of prosperity will be your precious rewards.

“Blessed are they who maintain judgment and treat others with righteousness constantly.” Psalm 106:3

If you would like to commit your life to Jesus Christ, you can do so, and thereby experience the most important gift ever offered to mankind! You don’t have to be perfect – I’m certainly not and I know you aren’t either. In fact, we all sin and fall far short of perfection. Won’t you make the greatest decision you can ever make? I pray that you will do so today.

To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, click this link:

Tim Darnell is a Christian business owner, professional recording artist, and most importantly, husband to Cathy and father to Lindy, Hannah, and Caleb.
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