Life According To Monopoly

When you play games, you need to know the goal. If you are playing Monopoly, the goal is to get as much property and money as you can and then defeat the others by forcing them into bankruptcy. Right now, I am not sure many of us have Monopoly on the top of our play lists. The idea of being bankrupt hits far too close to home.

If there was a time, certainly in my lifetime, that we need to hear a better understanding of God’s view of money, it is now. I think such a view is expressed well by my friend Casey Graham at ReThink Money, who has often said, “God cares for more than 10%.”

One illustration of Jesus stands out to me as an example of the problem of a life lived according to Monopoly.
“He said, "A rich man had land that produced good crops. He thought, 'What should I do? I don't have enough room to store my crops.' He said, 'I know what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones so that I can store all my grain and goods in them. Then I'll say to myself, "You've stored up a lot of good things for years to come. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! I will demand your life from you tonight! Now who will get what you've accumulated?' That's how it is when a person has material riches but is not rich in his relationship with God." (Luke 12:16-21 GW)

The crux of the story is that a man worked hard and reaped the benefits of the hard work. He gained all he could and he wanted to save all he could. Jesus does not indicate there was anything wrong with either.

But then the man said, “…take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' It is at this point where the soul comes into play that God says of this man that he is a fool. A soul is lost when we place our faith in anything other than God.

There have been other superpowers with financial crises and pastors who have addressed those issues. One of those superpowers was England. One of those pastors was John Wesley. Wesley said to many of those living in the difficult times of the 18th century and to us today, we ought to “Gain All We Can, Save All We Can and Give All We Can.”

When we face both the good times and difficult times of financial markets, we should keep in mind such principles that help us live out our faith. We do not have to take a vow of poverty but we do need to remember we all have a responsibility.

We gain all we can but not at the expense of others. We do not take advantage of anyone in order to make a buck. We should also save all we can. Not hoarding it but making sure the needs (and not necessarily the wants) of our family are provided for and that some is set aside. But to do only those two does not really change us.

It is in times such as these that the call to give all we can has more to do with aligning ourselves with God’s vision for people. God cares for more than 10%, 90% or even the full 100% of your income - God cares for you, the person he created. The call to earn and save, is to honor the abilities and minds God has given you and I. But to give is to give an offering to God who did not even withhold his only Son, Jesus, from us.



May I Ask: What has been your approach to handling money? How has it worked for you?

May I Suggest:A call from Helping Hands of Paulding County alerted me to just how difficult the situation is for many of our neighbors, literally. Maybe you already have a charity you support and can give to, if not, give Helping Hands a call at 770-443-1230.

To live within our means gives us a chance to help our neighbor in need.

Click here for the podcast of Life According to Monopoly.

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