Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is Wealth a Waste of Time? by Martin Wiles

Don’t weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time? Proverbs 23:4 (NLT)

With the exception of my maternal grandfather, wealth has never clung to my immediate family. I loved my grandfather, but he impressed me as a miserly and stingy man. Some might consider him prudent. It wasn’t until he died that any of us found out how much he had amassed.

His appearance depicted a dirt poor farmer. He never spent money unless it was absolutely necessary and even then it was as little as possible. “Patch up” workers were hired to do repairs on the house. My cousin and I were paid a measly dime to sweep off shed roofs and pull weeds from cotton fields.

Before “Pappy” died, my grandmother had never written a check or paid bills. What money she had came from selling fish and harboring the proceeds in a quart jar hidden in her piano.

What it took my grandfather his entire life to accumulate was quickly spent or divvied out after his demise. My grandmother bought a new car and reroofed the elderly farmhouse. The land was divided between my mom and her sister. Some funds were disbursed to the grandchildren. In a short time, his wealth had disappeared as though it had the wings of a bird! (v. 5)

While material possessions and money are not inherently evil, it seems a waste of time spending one’s life pursuing them. We cannot control the elements that destroy them nor prevent the thief from stealing them. And when we lay in our coffins, they will not be our bed fellows. A wrong perspective even allows wealth to steal our focus from God and spiritual matters.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, establish my focus on laying up treasures in heaven where they cannot be stolen or destroyed.

Dr. Martin W. Wiles is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Harleyville, SC, author of two devotional books and former correspondent for the Baptist Courier. He and his wife Michelle have a devotional ministry called Morning Lite.

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