Before you look for a dotted line to sign on, let’s read between the contract lines and understand its terms from the Lord’s perspective.
To be sure, the Lord has no problem with wealth. He blessed King Solomon, the wisest man on the earth during his reign, with incredible riches...to the tune of what some scholars believe to be $287,000,000 per year. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt (1 Kings 4:30).
He reigned for forty years, so in doing the math, the income from gold alone was 11.48 billion US dollars! In addition to revenue from gold, King Solomon’s wealth increased from trading and commerce endeavors, tribute money paid to him by other countries that realized his country’s superiority, heavy taxation, and gifts. Everyone who came to seek King Solomon’s wisdom--kings, queens, dignitaries in all levels of rank and authority--brought him gifts. Not just a box of chocolates or a candle but tons of gold, animals, spices, jewels, robes, weapons, and other precious goods.
God visited Solomon in a dream, and when asked what he would like to be given, Solomon touched a tender spot in God’s heart by asking for wisdom, not stuff. Here’s what followed: The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, "Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame!" (1 Kings 3:10-13 NLT).
There it was--God’s Get-Rich-Quick Scheme. Solomon wasn’t asking for riches, but the Lord threw it into his blessing package anyway because he wanted, more than anything, to govern his sphere of influence just like God would. So do I. Do you? The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I ask for His wisdom in dealing with life. How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! (Proverbs 16:16 NIV).
God’s perspective on wealth comes from His attitude of incredible generosity. When we love what He loves, BINGO! We want to give, not because we must, but because we care about what He cares about—furthering the work of the Gospel, helping the poor and needy, and blessing others with what we’ve been given.
Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV). The Greek word for “cheerful” means “hilarious.” That describes spontaneously non-reluctant giving. There is no room in God's economy for the stingy, greedy person. His reward will be very limited and sorely disappointing. A synonym for hilarious is preposterous, which means contrary to nature, reason, or common sense. We are to be hilarious givers!
God’s promise of a forever life with Him is a blow-your-mind, marvelous reality that we do not deserve. It surely merits hilarious, preposterous gifts from us! When we couple hilarious giving with God’s wisdom, look out! In Jesus’ own words, "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back" (Luke 6:37-38 NLT).
Solomon didn’t even know that principle of God when he asked for wisdom, but what if, along with his wisdom, he’d been famous for his extravagant gift-giving and ministry to the work of the Lord and the poor? Add hilarious giving to godly wisdom, and you have a sure-fire Get-Rich-Quick Scheme, God’s way! Wise up first, then give…hilariously!
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre