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Not long ago a Missouri couple won nearly $300 million in the lottery, but quickly spent it all–luxury cars, bad investments, gambling, drug addiction, and a divorce settlement; plus they lost all their friends, and the man ended up working again for the store that sold him the winning ticket. This couple’s experience illustrates a biblical maxim found in Proverbs 28:19 that says, “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.” The Bible teaches that God created us to engage in meaningful work. At creation, God gave Adam the job of taking care of the Garden of Eden. He also gave Sabbath Days so people could rest from six days of expected work. In fact, we enjoy our greatest fulfillment when we use the ability God has given us to work and serve others. Education and training helps us maximize our God-given abilities. If we are unable or unwilling to pursue and use our capabilities, we may lose our sense of self worth. Work is ordained by God. It is our privilege and responsibility to discover and use our God-given abilities. When we do, we honor Him, we benefit others, and we enjoy a sense purpose and meaning in our lives.

One Comment

  • Charity J. Dell says:

    This story illustrates what happens when people have not had a minimum of financial education. When huge sums of money are won, the winners are typically assaulted by “vultures” of all kinds, including bank employees who desperately try to talk you into all kinds of spurious “investment schemes”. Unfortunately, these investment schemes are little more than fancy corporate gambling plans disguised as “expanding your options.”

    Then there are the acquaintances, “friends” and relatives that come out of the closet, all eager to suck the winners dry of the money they received. This mirrors the oft-told story of successful athletes who fritter away their multimillion dollar earnings by supporting multiple families, while their “accountants” and “managers” help themselves to the athletes’ money. Then there are the many
    “business investment proposals” that often come their way–and we see these same athletes opening up restaurants or other businesses that ultimately fail.
    These athletes end up poverty-stricken before they reach their 60’s, sometimes
    needing public assistance. All the “friends” and “relatives”–including family
    members–that drained them are not there to help the “generous” athlete who once funded everyone.

    Our churches would do well to have more financial management education,
    to train Christians in how best to conserve their resources. Christians are often preyed upon by church officials and relatives to constantly part with their
    money. Endless money-raising schemes (beyond tithes and offerings)
    constantly besiege Christians to “plant seeds” and “give till it hurts”–but these church officials do NOT pay the rent, food, fuel, mortgage payments, utility bills, income and property taxes, music lessons, tutoring services or college tuitions of those parishioners who generously give to them.

    Our churches would do well to question the endless luncheons, banquets and dinners that demand HUGE ticket prices per person; while these events may
    be fun and promote fellowship, they also tend to drain families of resources
    that would better be spent on funding useful ministries, such as Vacation Bible School, Christian camps, and youth ministry events.

    Our parishioners need to question why all these “bishops” need “assessments”
    from local churches–especially churches that do not have members with professional careers. Many of our parishes are composed of poor people, the unemployed (and under-employed) and people in transition; the monies raised should stay in the local church, so that the local parish received maximum benefit from the finances poured back into the church’s ministries.
    church bills can be paid

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