It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. Psalm 37:16 NLT
A reporter once asked John D. Rockefeller how much was enough. “Just a little bit more,” he said. But my grandfather thought a little less would do.
After leaving the family farm, my grandfather went to work with Paradise Ice Company. The company changed names several times and bosses came and went, but my grandfather remained. The business was small and localized in certain parts of South Carolina. The pay was meager, but my grandfather thought it sufficed. He never looked for another job.
Not only did my grandfather pay his bills with his salary, but he also gave from the fruits of his salary. He had a small garden plot, but he shared the harvest with family, friends, and strangers. When times were hard for me or my parents, he signed over his tax refund check to the one who needed help the most.
When my grandfather died, he had less than one thousand dollars in the bank. Not much to show for working his entire life and for being loyal to one company for his entire working career. But I think he had more than his bank account showed. He had sent his treasures ahead. Like the psalmist, my grandfather considered it better to be godly and have little than to be evil and have much.
Jesus suggests we store our treasures in heaven rather than on earth. On earth, thieves can steal them, rust corrode them, and moths destroy them. But in heaven, they are safe from all those things. My grandfather sent his treasures ahead through works of kindness and love.
Foundations are important, and my grandfather built one. He loved God with all his heart and others as himself. Because he did, that love dictated his choices and decisions. He chose to give away rather than hoard. His joy came from sharing God’s blessings to him.
Although my grandfather made just enough to meet his monthly obligations, he never worried that helping others might put him in a financial bind. He trusted God to meet his needs as he met others’ needs.
My grandfather also enjoyed his life’s journey, even though it was one often on the edge of poverty. He worked hard, trusted God, helped others, and, I believe, was rewarded on earth and in heaven.
Choose godliness over much. You’ll never regret you did.
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Prayer: Father, motivate us to show our godliness by intervening in the lives of others.