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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 6:10).
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.