CAN WE REALLY HAVE IT BOTH WAYS?
So, this middle aged man comes to Christ. By this time in his life, he has obtained the perks and privileges of wealth and success which have become the very source of his security, ease, and status,
“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city ; they imagine it an unscalable wall…They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace…always carefree, they increase in wealth.” (Prov. 18:11; Psa. 73:3b-6,12b) (See Prov. 10:15; Job 31:24,25; Psa. 49:6-9; 62:10 ; Ecc. 7:12)
From time to time he has had to compromise his integrity to get where he is . Discretely, of course. That is, he’s “played the game.” Now and then he may have actually taken advantage of a few folks. As James puts it,
“…Listen, you rich people…Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded…You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you… You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence…” (Jms. 5:1-5 – selected ) (See Deut. 32:15; Neh. 9:25, 26; Job 20:15-29; Psa. 49:6-20)
And now, he has decided to follow Christ . But he faces a dilemma: “ Can he truly follow Jesus and sustain his current lifestyle without continuing the very compromises it took to obtain the wealth and status in the first place?” Perhaps that is why Jesus made this comment after the rich young man walked out on Him,
“…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 19:24b) (See Jn. 5:44)
You see, our middle age friend wants both the benefits of salvation and the privileges of wealth . In other words, he desires the best of both worlds. But can he in fact have it both ways?
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matt. 6:24) (See Josh. 24:15)
In many parts of the world, obtaining and sustaining wealth is close to unattainable without compromising one’s integrity. The jarring fact is that liars, the greedy, and swindlers will not enter heaven,
“…Do not be deceived: Neither… thieves nor the greedy…nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God…All liars…will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (1 Cor. 6:9,10 selected; Rev. 21:8b)
So tell me, are you radically committed to uncompromising integrity in conducting your business affairs ? If you find that juggling a gold plated life style runs counter to living a life of purity and holiness, are you prepared to walk away from the former in order to sustain the latter? You and I may want to consider,
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord…What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Heb.12:14b; Matt.16:26)
My prayer is that you are having a great week!
R. Dwight Hill
*Original Facts date December 19th, 2001Views: 22