In these tough economic times, most of us would like to get
our hands on some real money. Well, how about one hundred trillion dollars?
That would last us for a while, wouldn’t it?
Well, I’m afraid not. The Bank of Zimbabwe issued this note
a few years ago, just before their economy completely collapsed. At that time,
the value of their currency was shrinking daily. By the time this note was
printed it could barely buy a loaf of bread!
It just goes to show the danger of trusting in physical
wealth for your security. In a hyperinflation situation like this, even
millionaires saw their wealth eaten up. They learned by painful experience the
wisdom of this scripture from the Book of Proverbs:
“Don’t wear yourself
out trying to get rich; restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an
eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder” (Proverbs
23:4-5, The Message).
There is nothing wrong with wealth if it is come by honestly
and used for good. But when we begin to trust in our wealth for physical
security, or social status and privilege, we place ourselves at risk. Notice
what Paul said to Timothy, “For the love
of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy
The problem with money, or what it can buy, comes when we
put the emphasis on it rather than on what is eternal and truly life-giving:
Jesus Christ. Our greatest wealth is knowing who we are in Christ and living in
close relationship with him.
Likewise, the greatest poverty is not the absence of
physical wealth, but a spiritual poverty that comes with living apart from a
loving and faithful relationship with Christ by the Spirit. This is why Jesus
tells us to store up treasures in heaven, where we will enjoy being the beloved
children of our Creator God. When we make a relationship with Christ our treasure,
even when we are poor, we are rich.