The Measure of Wealth

Late in his life, Paul wrote two letters to his protégé, Timothy. While much of the content of these personal letters addressed Timothy’s leadership challenges, Paul could have been writing an op-ed for the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. He gave an accurate assessment of human nature and the inevitable outcomes of misplaced priorities.

In his first letter, he urged his son in the faith: “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Isn’t it ironic that those who really want to be wealthy are some of the most miserable people on earth? Many spent most of their careers climbing the corporate ladder only to find that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. John D. Rockefeller once said, “The poorest man in the world is he who only has money. The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?”

Paul had the answer: “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them” (1 Timothy 6:18).

What do with your wealth? Most of us might respond: “What wealth?” I have not known many truly rich people in my life, but I’ve known a number of wealthy people … people who trust God “who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”

Jesus told us to invest in the eternal: “Store your treasures in heaven … wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21). What do you think He meant? I don’t think He meant to be so heavenly minded that we are not any earthly good. I believe we make investments of our time, talent, and treasure every day. We are good stewards, knowing that the Owner of all things deserves and demands an accounting. We give of ourselves and our means out of joy and gratitude. We are blessed – a privilege bound to a responsibility that promises an abundant life!

 

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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