Don’t let your stuff own you.

Give a portion of it away.

Don’t Wear yourself Out

There’s an allure to wealth. We think that if we just had more of it, we’d be happy and all of our problems would be solved. But King Solomon—one of the wisest men to ever live, and one of the wealthiest men in the ancient world—wrote:

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Proverbs 23:4–5

There’s nothing inherently wrong with money. In fact, it can be a tool for doing good things . . . or even great things. But we have to guard against the danger of letting it take God’s place in our lives. Money is dangerous when we begin to trust in it. It can ruin the quality of our lives when we put our faith in it instead of in our heavenly Father. That’s what King Solomon warned against.

Jesus offered an even more direct warning:

 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Matthew 6:24–26

Trusting in money instead of God increases our stress and worry. It causes us to obsess over material things when we could find peace and contentment if we trusted in God, who loves us and will care for us.

So, how do we realign our trust? Do we take vows of poverty? Probably not. But we can be generous. If we give a portion of our money away—especially the first portion—it breaks money’s hold on our hearts. It ensures that we own our stuff, but our stuff doesn’t own us.

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