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The issue is not how much a person makes but what they do with it

January 9th, 2010 at 01:33 am

Here is something to think about for today, an excerpt from Desiring God, chapter 7, pp. 202-203:

In Ephesians 4:28, Paul says 'Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.' In other words, there are three levels of how to live with things: (1) you can steal to get; (2) or you can work to get; (3) or you can work to get in order to give.

Too many professing Christians live on level 2. Almost all the forces of our culture urge them to live on level two. But the Bible pushes us relentlessly to level three. 'God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work' (2 Corinthians 9:8). Why does God bless us with abundance? So we can have enough to live on, and then use the rest for all manner of good works to alleviate spiritual and physical misery. Enough for us; abundance for others.

The issue is not how much a person makes. Big industry and big salaries are a fact of our times, and they are not necessarily evil. The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six-digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle. God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn't. Copper will do.

I read this yesterday and it really hit home. My husband and I got married very young (18 yrs old) and we will be celebrating our 11 year of marriage this year. We've lived on next to nothing when we first got married and as our salary has increased so as our lifestyle. We both felt a sense of entitlement to things and a certain increase in our standard of living. The problem was we began to spend more than we had. This is how we have gotten ourselves into debt. We've finally reached a point in our lives where we realize we shouldn't be spending it all and we're sick of our paycheck going to others. We're learning to be content with what we have and be thankful for all the things we've been blessed with. I hope you do the same.


1.) "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that... Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life" 1 Timothy chapter 6, verses 6 through 8 and 17 through 19.

2 Responses to “The issue is not how much a person makes but what they do with it”

  1. anonymous Says:

    Two more levels of "how to live with things": (4) you can receive from those who are giving in number 3. (5) You can live off the detritus, the stuff those wasteful, over-consumers throw away.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I agree, it is not what you make that counts, it is how much of it you keep. The most I ever made in my entire life was $4200 a year. When dh and I married, I was working for $89 a week and he made $4 an hour. we saved our money even then. (I mis typed, I meant to say $8200 a year)

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