Someone once asked industrialist John D. Rockefeller how much money it would take to make a person happy. He responded, “Just a little more.”
Perhaps Mr. Rockefeller knew from experience that there is never enough stuff to fill the human need for contentment and security. God made us in such a way that when we give ourselves away—to Him and to others—we gain deep and beautiful fulfillment.
Most Americans enjoy a much higher standard of living than people in other areas and other parts of the world—not even the French or Russian kings in all their splendor had central heating or refrigerators! At the same time, the U.S. is the most generous nation in the world. We share what we have, be it a little or a lot. There's a story about a family living during the Great Depression with 10 children and nothing but a pot of beans for dinner. Yet the mother sent one of the children next door to make sure the neighbors had enough to eat before serving the meal. Stories of extraordinary generosity aren't hard to find and always warm the heart.
As Christians we know that we are most fulfilled when we share our possessions and our lives with others. We have the added blessing of knowing that our gifts for God's kingdom enrich others' lives here and for eternity.
Jesus told a story about a man whose crops came in far more abundantly than he ever expected. But rather than share the excess or invest it wisely, he horded. The man built bigger barns to store his possessions and settled in for an easy life. God considered him a fool. He said, “This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Jesus concluded his story by saying, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21 NIV)
Jim Elliot was a determined young man who wanted to give his life wholly to God. He trained to become a missionary to the Auca people in Ecuador. He gave his life there, speared to death by the tribesmen he loved. He once wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Certain of his place in eternity, Elliot poured everything he had into loving others in God's name. In the years after his death, Elliot's wife and friends returned to live and work among the Auca people, and many of them turned their lives over to God. Unlike the Rich Fool, Elliot was no fool. His heart was rich toward God.
Most of us will not be called to sacrifice our lives, like Jim Elliot. And hopefully we won't suffer again as many did during the Great Depression. But as Christians, we are responsible to God for how we use and think about our possessions.
If God is leading you to bless others with the resources He has blessed you with, please feel free to contact us to discuss some ideas about how your possessions can make a difference for eternity.