What is True Wealth?

by Jason on November 21, 2009


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Each weekend I like to provide for of a devotional style post that includes a few verses on money and occassionally the study notes to help with further reflection.

These past two weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about true wealthand what exactly that means.   I deal w ith money and people’s attitudes with money on a daily basis and also blog about money almost daily as well.

Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of a larger view of money and be consumed in the day-to-day decisions and workings of our personal finance.

But what exactly is true wealth and how do we keep a good perspective on our finances so we don’t become obsessed with our money?

There’s an interesting little passage in Luke 16:1-12 that talks about “unrighteous wealth” and “true riches“, which at first read can be confusing, but after listening to a sermon on this passage and reading through it a few times I am starting to see what Jesus is talking about.

The verses that I’ll focus on are 9-12 (emphasis is mine):

9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 

 What strikes me in this passage is verse 9!  We are to make friends by means of unrighteous wealth.  What Jesus is saying here is to use our money as a way to impact others lives!

Believers who use their wealth and possessions generously in this way give evidence of their faith and commitment to God and of their understanding that God will give eternal rewards to those who are generous in their use of the resources he has entrusted to them – ESV Study Bible notes

In other words be generous with your wealth, seek to give it away, help others with their needs and God will give eternals rewards! 

There’s a lot more in this passage than I can cover in the scope of one post, but I encourage you to study it on your own.

See, what I’ve known for a long time, but just realizing more deeply as of late is that this present world’s riches are a tool in which we use for kingdom purposes – all the time! 

And when we’re bogged down in debt, using money to keep up with our neighbors, stingy, greedy and the like and we don’t use our money for the kingdom, we are forgoing the greatest blessings, which are the eternal rewards God has promised.

When we do that we are forgoing true wealth!

What is the purpose of your money?  Have you been faithful with the “unrighteous wealth” God has given you so that He can entrust to you true riches!?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken November 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Great post! God’s economy is not of this world (temporal). I need to remind myself of this and not miss out on blessing others.
.-= Ken´s last blog ..How to Keep Happiness in the Holidays =-.

Jason November 22, 2009 at 9:33 am

Thanks Ken, I think we all need reminders of this. It’s way to easy to lose sight of the end goal and focus on the temporary day-to-day stuff!
.-= Jason´s last blog ..Weekend Edition – Wealth and Happiness =-.

Ashley November 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

You know studies show that the level of happiness between people that live comfortably and people that are millionaires isn’t a wide margin. To me, true wealth is being able to help others, live comfortably (not extravagently), and having a an awesome network of support (friends and family). God won’t care what car I drove or labels I wore, only that I made a difference.

Jason November 24, 2009 at 8:32 am

Good point Ashley – the way our culture operates, you’d think we’d be happier if we had more money, but it’s simply not true.

Joe Plemon November 24, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I am sure that I had read that passage before, but it must have gone right over my head. I will still need to chew on this use of “unrighteous wealth”, but I do see the difference between the unrighteous wealth and true riches.

I think Ashley explained true wealth really well.

Good post!
.-= Joe Plemon´s last blog ..Top Ten Grocery Saving Tips From the Expert (My Wife) =-.

Jason November 25, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Joe – that is one of those passages I had to read a few times until I got it. It’s an interesting parable that Jesus tells. The labeling of money as “unrighteous wealth” can be confusing – I think he simply is referring to worldly wealth or the world’s system of currency.

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