Money Wise: Three Attitudes of Wealth

When it comes to money, what is your greatest fear/concern?

MONEY WISE FLIER twitter HILL CITY

Is it fear of not having enough/ being broke? Or the fear of having too much? Generally when it comes to money, the fear of most humans today is that they will not have enough! Money is so important in today’s world! Without it, it’s hard to pay our bills and meet our obligations. Without it, it’s difficult to pay for the necessities of life, like food and rent. So understandably, the attitude of many towards money is to make as much as we possibly can and to keep as much as of it we possibly can so we can be as safe as we possibly can! At the very core of who we are, if we could be honest about it, our attitude when it comes to money is driven by fear!

We’ve been going through a sermon series this month called Money Wise, Lessons from a Billionaire. We have been learning some critical money lessons from the wealthiest man in the bible, billionaire Solomon. In week one, we looked at the wealthy heart and learnt that the use of your wealth reveals the state of your heart’. Then we looked at the wealthy mind, and learnt that true wealth begins with wisdom, not the wallet’. Last week we looked at wealthy hands and learnt that true wealth is built over time and not overnight’. All these are certainly things that go against the grain in our culture today.

In this blog post, we will be learning about a Billionaire’s Attitude. (2 Chronicles 9:1-12) Solomon did not set out to be the richest king on the earth. He set out to seek for wisdom in order to accomplish His God given purpose. For him it was wisdom before wallet. God was so impressed by his priorities that he promised to give Solomon not just the wisdom he was looking for but riches, honor and victory over his enemies as well. As a result, Solomon became the greatest king in the world. His rule over Israel has often been called “Israel’s golden age” because the extent of the kingdom and the level of peace and prosperity they enjoyed was greater than before or since.

The wealth and fame Solomon enjoyed was off the charts! He was the envy of the world, admired by other leaders across the world. One of the national leaders that admired Solomon was the queen of Sheba. Most scholars believe that Sheba was located somewhere in southern Arabia, around where Yemen is today. Some believe it extended to ancient Ethiopia, which is in North Africa today, and the legend is that Solomon and Sheba had a love child who established a dynasty of Ethiopian kings! None of that can be proved historically, but of course Hollywood loves that kind of thing!

What is clear is that this woman was a powerful representative of a prosperous kingdom. She was also clearly a very smart leader with a keen mind, and having heard about Solomon’s reputation, she decided to come and test him ‘with hard questions’, to see if he really was as wise as he was reputed to be. The results were beyond what the queen had imagined. The bible tells us she was overwhelmed! God had blessed Solomon with great wealth and wisdom that would far exceed the queen’s expectations. He not only addressed her curiosity about his kingdom but listened to all that was on her mind and gave her gifts to take back home.

There are three attitudes that exist in the world today when it comes to wealth:

What’s yours is mine and I want to take it – One word would characterize this, greed.  Greed is the attitude that says, “I am not satisfied with what I have. I want what other people have.”  It’s an attitude of discontentment with what one has and an admiration of what other people have. Unfortunately in our world today, greed is good! Business books teach that unless you’re always greedy for more, you will never succeed.

Celebrities showcase their lives of ease on reality TV and make you feel like a poor child on the outside of the window looking in. Advertisers capitalize on our inadequacies, making us feel our lives will be better if we just had this new phone or that new car or vacation in that resort. The result is an attitude that leads us to envy those who have what we don’t have and maybe even resent them for it.

Unfortunately for us, this is the reality we live in. This is the air we breathe! Work hard, buy more stuff, then work even harder to maintain the new stuff that we bought! It’s crazy that this is even what is taught in the church today! The more stuff I own and flash around, the more God has blessed me. We misinterpret scripture to make it all about me being rich. A friend shared a story about two Christians coming from a kesha who saw a beautiful Mercedes parked by the road. They decided to walk around it and claim it. So they laid hands on it and began to claim the wealth of the wicked. Unknown to them, the owner had been clubbing all night and had blacked out in his car! As they walked around, he woke up and opened the door in an irritated tone and said, ‘This, you get by working hard, not claiming.’

If this is your attitude, you will always want more. Your world will be defined by unlimited wants and limited means so you will always want just a little more. You might think that you will stop wanting more the moment you reach a certain level but rest assured there is no upper level! Millions will not stop you from wanting more. Money only creates cravings for more money.

The problem lies in the human psychology that no matter what amount you get, you will get used to. This is called adaptability. No matter the level of wealth you reach, you will adapt to it. To live a life of contentment is a complete counter-cultural thing! Billionaire Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”

What’s Mine is Mine and I am Going to Keep it – In other words, “Look, I worked hard for this. This is my stuff.  I’m going to keep it.” The word that characterizes this attitude is the word selfishness.  It doesn’t say, “I want what others have”. Instead it says, “I earned my money the hard way and how I use it is nobody else business!’ So I can give a little bit, when it’s convenient, but I’m going to keep as much as I can to use for my own agenda. The problem with this attitude is that it results in a very small life.

You see as human beings, we were not just created to live for our small wants. We were created to live for something far bigger! You may have heard the story that in 1888, a humble Swede by the name of Ludwig died, and the French press confused him with his more famous younger brother Alfred, and so wrote an obituary for the wrong person. Alfred was a wealthy entrepreneur and inventor who had amassed a fortune by making weapons such as dynamite, which had been used to kill many people. Presuming he was now dead, the newspaper article about him was titled, ‘Tradesman of Death’ and talked about Alfred’s greed and how he had left the world a far worse place than he had found it. When a very alive Alfred read his obituary, he was shocked beyond belief!

In his heart brokenness, he determined that he needed to change his legacy while he still had time. And so this man wrote his will. In it he set out what he wanted to leave behind for his relatives. He asked that the rest of the estate be invested in a fund, whose interest would be distributed annually to the people who had made the greatest investment to humankind, including ending wars across the world. Today, that award is called the Nobel Peace Prize.

Instead of leaving a legacy of selfishness and destruction, Alfred Nobel left a legacy that over a century after his death continues to impact the world for good. An attitude of selfishness may seem natural or justified. But in the end it results in a small life that has little impact beyond you. Billionaire Solomon challenges that attitude in Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.’

What’s Mine is God’s and I am going to Give it – One word that characterizes this attitude is generosity. Now, the biggest hindrance towards this one attitude is fear – what if I end up broke? What if I end up not being able to provide for my family? What if I end up without retirement income? Another hindrance is how do I know that if I gave it, it would be used well? We think this when we see a street child but we also see it when we think of the church. There are so many con men preachers out there – how do I know the money I give won’t be used badly? A third barrier is why should I give others what I’ve worked so hard to make?

The interesting thing is that the queen of Sheba was a wealthy monarch in her own right. The bible says she brought “spices, large quantities of gold and precious stones.” The gold, verse 9 says, was 120 talents worth, which measures out to roughly 4 ½ tons! It is hard to imagine that with such extravagant gifts, she could be outdone in generosity but she would, in fact, be outdone by an even greater generosity. The queen would actually leave with more than what she brought! Not only was Solomon generous with his wealth but also with his wisdom/ knowledge/ discernment to bless others.

Billionaire Solomon says in Proverbs 11:24One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 26 People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.’ Generosity is the attitude of true wealth.

Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.” There are many who are saying, ‘wait till I have wealth then I’ll start being generous’. But if you have an attitude of greed or of selfishness now, chances are that it is the same attitude you will have when the wealth comes! I believe the reason God wants us to be generous is not because he wants us to fund him, but because we need it!

There are two areas where you can develop the attitude of generosity:

Growing in your generosity towards others: I’m not only talking about money here.  I’m talking about the sacrifice of serving the people around you with your time, talents and treasure. Why help a poor person? There’s nothing he can do for you, right? Wrong. There is one thing a poor person can do for you that nobody else can do. When I show kindness to the poor, I unlocks the riches of God! Billionaire Solomon says in Proverbs 19:17 ‘Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.’ It’s not that God cannot make it without you, but He is looking for FUNNELS and not BASKETS to pour His wealth to.

Growing in your Generosity towards God: There’s already a level of giving and generosity that God calls us to.  It’s really truly the baseline, and for some people, this baseline will seem too high for you. And it is – the tithe. Billionaire Solomon says Prov 3:9-10 ‘Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.’ Whatever you honor God with first, the rest of whatever you gave to Him is blessed; the same is true with our money.  It’s not about financing God.  It’s about honoring Him as first in our lives. In Malachi, chapter 3, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there might be food in My house.”  God makes it very clear, “This is what I want you to do.  This is the baseline.  And then He says this, and really, it’s the only place in scripture where He says this… “And test me in this.”

In other words, “Just see if this doesn’t work,” and you can talk to any person who has consistently done this, and they will give you a testimony of a life that has been blessed immeasurably by the obedience of this, this baseline giving, this baseline level of calling to generosity.  “Test me in this,” He says, “And see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Tithing isn’t about giving God one out of ten things.  It’s about giving God the first, even before the other nine even show up.  It should be so in everything that one does. Generosity is the attitude of true wealth.

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One Response to “Money Wise: Three Attitudes of Wealth”

  1. raphael kaula Says:

    i liked the billionaire solomon sermon it as torched me a lot.but the issue is that i trust and believe in GOD.but things are just turning negative, will i even become a millionaire one day?

    Like

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