Poor - With Money In The Bank
- March 12, 2012
- Ken Korkow
A number of years ago my family and I were so strapped for money we were not able to buy a Christmas tree for the holiday season, much less afford to purchase any gifts to put under it. Our children were sad. My wife, Liz, was sad. I was sad.
Then, after the first of the new year, I made a startling discovery: in reality we had money in the bank – but we didn't know it. I had not recorded the deposit for my previous month’s paycheck in the checkbook register. So we thought we were poor – and living that way – yet we had money in the bank!
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever found yourself with resources you realized you were not utilizing – at least not as fully as you could have been using them? It might not necessarily even involve money. It could be gifts and abilities that you uniquely possess, but rarely use. It could be skills that you have allowed to diminish. It could be relationships that might be useful for helping you work through perplexing problems or make critical decisions, yet you fail to take advantage of them.
I have found this can also be true in a spiritual sense. Often we try to make difficult changes in our lives, or to modify behavior or thought patterns, but rather than turning to spiritual resources that are available to us, we choose to rely on our own strength and good intentions. Often failing in the process.
Dr. Henry Blackaby, a highly respected speaker and author, talks about spiritual resources at our disposal that we should learn to utilize. He cites a statement from the Bible by the apostle Peter, one of the followers of Jesus Christ, to prove his point. "As (Jesus’) divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3). Then he makes the following observations.
"As a Christian, you have everything you need to live a holy and abundant life,” Blackaby states. “Your intelligence, your education or your family background – these do not determine the holiness of your life. Everything you need to live a victorious, joyful, and abundant life is found in the Holy Spirit who resides within you. According to Peter, each Christian, by faith, has access to these qualities: goodness, knowledge of God, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
"It would be of no use to inherit a fortune if you did not know it was yours. Likewise, it is of no benefit to inherit everything necessary to become like Christ if you do not claim it. If we continue to lack self-control when God has made it available, we rob ourselves and those around us. If God is willing to instill brotherly kindness into our behavior, but we never display it, people will suffer needlessly as a result. The key to all that God has made available to us is our faith. We must believe that God wants to build these qualities into our lives. In the Gospels, Jesus related to people according to their faith. He rewarded genuine faith by granting salvation and healing. If He met unbelief, He did not reward it..
"Review the qualities that Peter said God wants to instill in you. If you lack any of these qualities, ask God to work them into your character, so that you will be more like Christ."
I believe this is good advice, whether we find ourselves in a corporate boardroom, an office cubicle, making a sales presentation, formulating an annual budget, or dealing with home and family issues.
Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from the “Fax of Life” column that he writes each week. Used with permission.
1. Have you ever found yourself, like Mr. Korkow, thinking that you lacked money or other resources to meet a need, only to discover it was available to you after all? You were not aware of it, so you could not appropriate what was needed?
2. How have you failed to properly or fully use resources you had at your disposal, even at times when you knew they were within your grasp?
3. The term “stewardship” pertains to the proper management of resources under our control and responsibilities, whether money, or abilities, or even time. Do you regard yourself as a good steward of such things?
4. Dr. Blackaby writes about spiritual resources, declaring that God has provided everything that His followers need for living the right way, whether in the workplace, the home, or in society. Do you agree? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Matthew 8:13; 9:29; 15:28; Mark 6:5-6; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-11