I Chronicles 29:11-12
“Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from You alone, for You rule everything. Power and might are in Your h , at Your discretion people are made great and given strength”
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my h s have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your god, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
I read these scriptures last night in my neighborhood bible study group. These verses in particular spoke to me and the troubles I’ve been enduring. I believe one of our biggest flaws is that sometimes it is easier to believe in our own abilities rather than God’s abilities.
To underst that human mindset, the character Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar said it best, “To find ourselves dishonorable graves. Men at some time are masters of their fates; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” It is easy when things are going well to look around at your house, car, and gadgets and credit yourself with a job well done. While on the flip side, the chips are down you blame the stars and ask “why has God forsaken me?” Cassius says it best, pointing out that men are masters of their own fate for better or for worse.
This thinking is reflected in our culture today. Society tells us to go to the right school, to get the right job to marry the right person and then everything will be smooth sailing from there out. The problems set in when a couple, years after they have all the “right things”, are still not happy. We look around at what we have and think maybe we picked the wrong things after all. If I would have finished my degree things would have been better? If things with that special person would have worked out then I’d be married. If I would have taken a chance on that one job I’d have so much more. If only…
But the thing that we fail to realize is that the things we would pick for ourselves are nothing in comparison to the things God would have picked for us. I challenge you to stop thinking that your life is your own. When you live for yourself you want to fill your life with the greatest toys, the best house, the best car, the best clothes. The problem is the best is only the best for about 6 months to a year, until the next model or new technology hits the streets. Then we think the things we have are inferior.
When you change your mindset and stop living for your desires and instead live to experience the things God desires for you, everything changes. You become grateful for the things you have and begin seeing everything as a gift from God. You stop thinking about your talents and your abilities as validation of your own greatness and start to see what you have as a blessing and a privilege. We are called to use whatever talents and abilities we have to help those around us. To listen in a time of need, help when you can and invest in eternal things.
By investing in materialistic pleasures you serve yourself and will never truly see a return on your investment or ever find true happiness. But if you invest in those around you (your spouse, your children, your friends and neighbors) you will see tenfold on your investment and blessing beyond compare.