Working in the world of finance presents me with the unique opportunity to interact with various types of people and businesses at an intimate level. For money is something quite personal to everyone. Whether they have a lot, or a little, money impacts them all; and over the years, I have found some possess a powerful perspective that contributes to their overall wellbeing regardless of their income level. Alternately, there are those who have allowed money to destroy much of what they once held dear. These lessons can benefit us all and are centered around three key priorities:
Relationships: There was a man I once met who admitted he had “burned through” three families due to his intense pursuit for money and career. Another admitted it took two open heart surgeries and two divorces to get his attention. Why did these very intelligent men make such physical and relational sacrifices? Money. They, like many of us, got caught in the trap of materialism and workaholism. As a result, they may spend their later years with money in bank, but not much else. Thus, is our desire to acquire causing us to short change the people in our lives (Proverbs 28:20)?
Revenues: When we make our families priority, it may cost us moving up the economic ladder as fast as we’d like. However, Chuck Colson, former Special Counsel to President Nixon and later founder of Prison Fellowship summarized this concept best when he wrote, “As I think back on my life, my biggest regret is not spending more time with the kids. Making family your top priority means going against the culture where materialism and workaholism are rampant. It means realizing you may not advance as fast in your career as some do. It means being willing to accept a lower standard of living, knowing that you’re doing the right thing for your children, given them the emotional security that they will draw on for the rest of their lives“. Before we get caught in the trap of thinking more money is better, let us remember that short changing some revenue today, isn’t necessarily the worst decision we can make when it brings rewards money can’t buy (Psalm 128:3).
Revival: Then there is the priority of our soul. For if we are willing to short change our health and our relationships, what won’t we be willing to short change in pursuit of larger homes, newer cars, fatter wallets and bigger titles? Revival is defined as an improvement in the condition or strength of something, and from the conditions we see all around us, a revival of Spirit in Christ is something our homes, our communities, our nation and our world can use a healthy dose of (Psalm 119:156).
Application: “Empowering Priorities” – Romans 8:28
The subject of priorities is admittedly something I believe strongly in because I was once heading in the same direction as the men I mentioned earlier. My pursuit for more was inadvertently causing me to short change the other more important areas of my life. However, I am thankful I reprioritized before I lost all I hold most dear. The good news is we can all get our priorities straight, and it’s never too late to make a fresh start. When we place God as our top priority and obey His word, He can turn our mistakes and misfortunes into glorious testimonies that bring glory to His name and restore the areas He considers most precious.