There’s the story of a rich industrialist who traveled from New York City to a Carribean resort, and was disturbed to find a Christian man, a fisherman, sitting sleepily beside his boat one afternoon. “Why aren’t you out there fishing?” he asked.
“Because I’ve caught enough fish for today,” said the fisherman.
“Why don’t you catch more fish than you need?’ the rich man asked.
“What would I do with them?” the fisherman replied.
“You could earn more money,” came the impatient reply, “and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. Then you could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you’d have a fleet of boats and be rich like me.”
The fisherman asked, “Then what would I do?”
“You could sit down and enjoy life,” said the industrialist.
“What do you think I’m doing now?” the fisherman replied wisely.
The LORD knows how hard it is for our hearts to be content. Stock market booms won’t provide contentment. Neither do work promotions, trophies, or fat paychecks and bonuses. But respect for God’s Word accomplishes what money never can accomplish. In Christ alone, contentment arrives as the sinner is calmed. In Christ alone, since our future is secured we can have a peaceful present. Only through Christ’s words are we able to gain correct perspective and live life to the fullest. That’s why the LORD says these words in Proverbs 15: “Better a little wealth with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil (Proverbs 15:16).”
Is working hard a virtue? Yes! Is the ability to earn money a gift from God? Yes! But don’t ever buy into the lie that working hard and earning money – the American dream – can offer peace. It can’t. It won’t. Being passionate for materialism only brings turmoil into your life.
It’s so much better to be passionate for Christ’s promises! The one who trusts in the LORD is never put to shame.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, Lord, heavenly Father, whose word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path, open and enlighten my mind that I may understand your word purely, clearly and devoutly. Help me then, having understood it correctly, to pattern my life according to it. Keep the intoxicating glitter of this world away from my mind. Give me the courage to embrace that I never need more money; rather, I need more trust in your promises. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.