Conspicuous consumption

It’s a hard thing to suffer financial reversals, long stretches of unemployment, bad investments, rip-offs by family members, and debts from huge medical bills. It’s hard to be cheerful in your faith when you feel as though you’re in a deep pit in life. But did you know that the opposite scenario also brings great risk to your faith?

Accumulating financial resources can rot out your soul. Jesus knew that from the sad experience of studying the behaviors of the wealthy. He and his Father love to spoil their children with prosperity, but it takes a strong spirit to keep your head clear and not become selfish and materialistic as your net worth rises significantly. The prophet Amos had severe words for the upper class of the people of his day who not only lived the high life but used their power to squeeze even more from those at the bottom: “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, ‘Bring us some drinks!’ . . . You will be cast out” (Amos 4:1,3).

The remedy? As you take stock of your investments, give all the glory to the generosity of your heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that it is he who gave you the ability to produce wealth. Second, let his gifts flow through you generously.

You have been blessed to be a blessing to other people.

Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.


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