When Riches Increase Does Happiness?
I am heaven bound!
Psalm 62:10 … If Riches Increase, Set Not Your Heart Upon Them
I am a firm believer that if you want to find real happiness, examine where your heart is. It is there you find your treasure(s) in life. Gain wealth there and you will find happiness. The problem with this approach is that many people have treasures of straw, and hearts set on things which do not last. There is a pleasure that is seasonal that does not last; There is also a happiness that is eternal. It all depends on where you set your heart.
I am not against riches; we must have wealth accumulation to accomplish our personal goals, to provide for our families, and to endow our church for the growth of the Kingdom of Christ. However, it is against this backdrop that the Psalmist advises us to not set our heart upon riches, for nothing breeds a false self-confidence so easily, quickly and temporally as riches. Money gives a maximum of hindrance to Christian goodness, and the minimum of help.
Mark 10:23 … How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (KJV Bible)
These words of Jesus have a somber warning. It is not the wealth itself which causes such a caveat; it is the baggage of things that burden the soul and take up space which rightly belongs to Jesus. I may enjoy the luggage of possessions, but I am on a journey heavenward, and it is predetermined that my primary gear is Christ and His Cross. This is where I set my heart.
Herein is the point of this hub. It is all about where I set my heart. If my heart is set on the Savior, Jesus Christ, then my riches are His as well. Possessions become a means to an end to serve Christ rather than the end result of their own pursuit. Eternal happiness is that the fuel and the engine and the direction of this heaven bound vehicle is all Christ. Money is necessary and may help fuel my trip, but more than what I may need may actually impede my trip. Baggage is a dreadful impediment to an army on the march. As a soldier of Christ, I must care to bear the gear that is primary and not be entangled by other “things.”
The LORD loves a cheerful giver
I confess that I like things and the money which enables them. I like making, spending, holding, growing capital. I do not believe there is anything wrong with this. However, I dare not set my heart to this end. If I am not careful, the thing I like will become a vampire and suck the joy from my Christianity.
This reminds me of when I was an associate pastor in a midsized church in eastern Tennessee. Our senior pastor decided that we should make offering time more joyous. He said to the congregation, “Whenever I say, ‘It is time for the offering’, let us all clap blissfully!” This little extra worked beautifully in our church. The youth of the church really caught the spirit of the moment and giving time became more blissful. Everything was great till I was asked to speak at a sister church. They did not have this custom. I had my six year old daughter with me. When the offering time came, their pastor was to receive the offering for me. With his announcement my daughter clapped loudly all by herself that her daddy was going to get the offering. I had to introduce my sermon with an explanation.
My daughter, Angela, embarrassed me because she was learning the joy of worship and setting our hearts toward Christ rather than the elation of some offering received.
Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (KJV Bible)
There is one eternal pleasure of wealth that God gives us; wealth is the power to give. Our society has lost much of this message because the tyrannical tax policies of our government(s) have robbed us of resources. We have been propagandized into believing that the collective can do better than the individual. However, giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. In the end you cannot take it with you, even though its power follows you into the afterlife.
You can't take it with you
This reminds me of a humorous anecdote. Trying to contradict the saying "You can't take it with you," a penny-pinching old lawyer, diagnosed with a deadly sickness, theorized that he could take some of it with him. He told his wife to go the bank and withdraw two pillow cases full of money. He instructed his wife to place the pillow cases in the attic above his bed. When he died, he was going to grab the loot on his way up. Of course, when his time came, the bags of money were unmoved. His wife went to the attic, snatched the loaded pillow cases, and said, “I knew I should have put these in the basement.”
We must obtain our gains justly: we must proceed seriously and righteously in the process. We should then share cheerfully, for “ the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” Earn what you make, enjoy it, give back to God His part. Heaven help us all to put it into practice. “If riches increase, set not thine heart upon them.” Most importantly, set your heart towards Christ and Him alone!
Stephanie from Kentucky on November 06, 2018:
I am in a hotel right now and I closed the blinds and curtain, got down on my knees and prayed hard for money "riches" to end my living situation and to give like I want. Then, my verse of the appeared! Psalm 62:10 If Riches Increase, Set Not Your Heart Upon Them. I googled to see exactly what that meant and Pastor Walts story came right after. The Lord sure does speak to you and very loudly and some people don't listen. I prayed about money and my verse of the day came right after! I have a clear understanding of it and Thank You for sharing your Story Pastor Walt even though I'm years late reading it, it still helps on this date Nov. 6, 2018!
Rev. Teddy C. Ryan III from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia on December 29, 2010:
Brother Walt, I just caught this one when browsing current relevant content. Great job... especially in the time of this season, which I pray will continue on throughout the whole year. With blessings... Rev.Ted
Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on November 13, 2010:
Love it!!! Very well written Pastor. The TRUTH! Keep spreading the WORD!!!
Pastor_Walt (author) from Jefferson City, Tennessee on December 04, 2009:
Thanks to timehealsall for the visit and the comment.
Vicky Gentry from Las Vegas, Nevada on December 04, 2009:
Amen Pastor Walt! God has gifted greater riches through his Holy Spirit that are more precious than any riches here on earth. These gifts we can take with us. What we bind here on earth will be bound in heaven. Our lives are like a flicker here,but heaven is eternal!!! Blessings to you for sharing the word and sharing it well!