Thursday, September 6, 2007

Your Money and Your Life #6: Put Wealth In Its Place … After Family

Character is important when it comes to dealing with our wealth. The next aspect of living well with “Our Money and Our Life” is putting money in its place, which isn’t first place, despite what our culture would tell us. We’ve already seen that character is more important than money. The next is well illustrated by a joke I found in The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart by Charles Swindoll (a book of sermon illustrations):

Two women met at a cocktail party after a separation of many years. After the initial delighted exchange of greetings, the first woman noticed that her friend was wearing an extraordinary diamond. She couldn’t help commenting, “That’s the most beautiful and enormous diamond I’ve ever seen!” “Yes, it’s an unusual diamond,” was the reply. “It’s the Calahan Diamond. And it comes complete with the Calahan curse.”

“What’s the Calahan curse?”

“Mr. Calahan!” she said.

It may be a bad joke, but Proverbs agrees…

Proverbs 19:13-14 A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
If any ladies are offended, I’m sure the sentiment works for husbands and wives … and nobody is honored like the Proverbs 31 woman in the book of Proverbs.

Work hard to provide for your family, but don’t sacrifice your family on the golden altar of wealth. They are more important than wealth.

How do you maintain balance in this? I know it can be particularly challenging for men, but it can be for anyone career-oriented, man or woman. This is one of those things we know in our heads, but our actions, our drive to succeed (or to not fail), and external forces making demands on us can push us.

How do you keep your family first (after God, of course)?

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