God wants your heart. He’s looking for disciples so filled with a vision for eternity that their deepest desire is to invest their money, time, and prayers where they will matter most. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). – Randy Alcorn

It was a busy Tuesday afternoon, and I had stuff like unreturned emails, dinner prep, and my long list of evening kid activities on my mind. Smack in the middle of my rush, my eight year old daughter tugged at my arm and pulled me away from the chaos into my bedroom closet, quickly closing the door behind her.

In her chubby hand was a wad of money: four crisp new tens to be exact – a Christmas present from her grandparents – plus a single dollar that had been tucked under her pillow in exchange for her most recent lost tooth. On top of the loose cash was a small note written in my passionate second grader’s handwriting that read:

“So that the people will know.”

She demanded that I take her money (which was the complete sum of every last penny that she had to her name), then she immediately burst into tears as it left her hands and entered mine. She didn’t have to say a word – I knew exactly where her precious tears came from and the meaning behind her intentional words. Now with tears in my eyes, I took her in my arms and made room for the two of us to settle in on my closet floor.

“For the people in Syria?” I whispered as she snuggled into my lap.

“Yep, mom,” she mustered in between her crying sighs. “So they will know.”

Earlier in the week, her heart had been noticeably moved by our family meeting about the great physical and spiritual needs of the people in this particular devastated, war-torn nation. Now in that closet, what might have seemed to an outsider like tears originating from the aching loss of her wealth were actually tears that told her heart’s story of how deeply she wanted the people of Syria to know just how much Jesus loves them.

She honored God with her wealth;

She gave her best, holding nothing back.

She invested in eternity instead of earthly gain, because Jesus is her greatest treasure.

_________________________

My whole life I’ve been a saver.

When I was a little girl, my mom tells me that I treasured and held onto even the simplest of trinkets. In elementary school I remember managing my first savings account with much interest and detail. In middle school I said yes to nearly every babysitting offer so I could earn a buck. In high school I waited tables at a local restaurant after school and barely spent a dime of my earnings. I lived my college years working to avoid student loans, and later found my wedding dress in the very back of a humble little shop on the 75% off clearance rack.

I wish I could say that my tendency towards frugality has always been a result of healthy disciplines and an eternal focus, but too often my motivation for work and financial independence came from a pursuit of self-sufficiency, worldly security, and more sinful pride than I’d like to admit. With too little faith and a too-tight grip on what I considered mine, what I had hoped would look like fiscal responsibility to the world had become an idol and hindrance to my right response to the gospel.

God Wants Our Hearts

Whether your tendency is to save or to spend really isn’t the issue here (obviously, there are examples of positive and negative applications on both ends of the spectrum). Wisdom in our work and wealth is an issue of the heart. Do we really believe that everything that we own is God’s (Psalm 24:1)? Would an evaluation of where we store our treasures indicate a worldly or eternal focus (Matthew 6:19-21)? When we pull away from the chaos and really take an honest look into our hearts, are we serving God or money as our master (Matthew 6:24)? For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God is Worthy of Our First and Our Best

If you’ve ever invited a friend to your church for the very first time, chances are your pastor has preached on tithing (hilarious, but seriously… ?!). All kidding aside, we tend to shy away from this topic at all costs, but oh the privilege of giving God our first and our best! When we humbly remember the cross and all that we have in Christ (Philippians 3:8), and when we have full trust that God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), our worldly desires quickly fade away in the light of His glory and grace.

Our culture gives us a mixed message. It says: make lots of money and spend it on yourself; get an identity by the kind of clothes you wear and the places you travel to and live. But also do some volunteer work, care about social justice, because you don’t want to be just a selfish pig. However, Christians’ attitudes toward our time and our money should not be shaped by our society; they should be shaped by the gospel of Christ, who became poor so that we could become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). – Tim Keller

Still not sure how to pursue wisdom in your work and wealth? Start by pursuing Jesus. Wisdom personified – the life and example of Jesus – and a heart set on your First Love will lead the way. Father, let it be said of us…

She honored God with her wealth;

She gave her best, holding nothing back.

She invested in eternity instead of earthly gain, because Jesus is her greatest treasure.

*Let’s talk: What is God speaking to your heart this week through His Word regarding your work and your wealth? Let’s spur each other on in the comments today…

At His feet,

 

 

Want to know more about our Walking in Wisdom study? You can find it here!