The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      Recognizing that financial fitness is Founded on the Heavenly postures you and me to understand further that financial fitness must be Framed with Humility. Concerning the Christian virtue of humility, C.S. Lewis stated “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.” Another source defined humility as “offering up our lives for others to see the love of Christ, for them, in us. It (humility) is an attitude of submission and surrender to God’s will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.” Those possessing the virtue of humility seek to add value to others and live with an “attitude of gratitude.”     
      Recalling Paul’s admonition to Timothy recorded in 1 Timothy 6, Christians are “not to be arrogant or set our hope on the uncertainty of wealth but on God….” Why? Because God is sovereign over wealth. While acknowledging God’s sovereignty over natural creation does not typically meet with much resistance, we often don’t get too excited to accept God’s sovereignty over our spending of money and the accumulation of possessions.
      Understanding and embracing the fact that “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1) (in other words realizing that everything one possesses actually belongs to God – “the cattle on a thousand hills” and otherwise), puts you well on your way to achieving financial fitness. Why? Because you are framing your life (including your outlook on finances and material possessions) with Humility.     
      While teaching young Timothy, the apostle Paul challenged his student with “If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing…(which leads to) minds (that) are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godlessness is a way to material gain.” (6:3-6).
      Based on these verses, the apparent mindset and practice of the day was that material gain was the end game and any means by which wealth could be achieved was OK. (As a sidebar, that same mindset is prevalent in 2021.) Paul sought to steer Timothy away from such a perspective. He continued mentoring his pupil with, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many griefs” (6:7-10).           
      Similarly, the writer of Hebrews urged his readers to “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said ‘I will never leave you or abandon you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (13:5). Failure to keep the main thing (or the main One) the main thing (One) is a prescription for disaster. Financial fitness must be framed with humility.
      I’m afraid that too often we attribute our success in achieving position, power, prestige, and pennies (a “p” word intended to focus on wealth and material success) to the role that we play in experiencing the good things that occur in our lives. Sure, God may be in the equation and he might even receive an award for best supporting actor, but we are the star of the show. We tend to give a tip-of-the-hat to God even as we bask in the limelight of “see what I have accomplished” or “all my hard work has paid off.”     
      Oh, that we would remember that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1)! The subject of the first verse of the first book of the Bible is “God.” Oh, that we would recall “For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth (and) all things have been created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). Oh, that we would live as if we affirmed 1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to you. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all.”
      While in the wilderness, Moses reminded the Hebrew people that God was the One who cared for them and provided for their needs. He challenged them with “Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD your God by failing to keep his commands…when you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses…and your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery” (Dt. 8:11-14). Moses further challenged the people with “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained wealth for me, but remember that the LORD your God gives you the ability to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your fathers, as it is today” (8:17-18).     
      When your perspective on finances and material possessions is founded on the heavenly (where your treasure is, there your heart will be also), then your outlook on money will be framed with humility. The result? Progress toward financial fitness will be achieved as the important role that Christians have as stewards of God’s possessions will come into sharper focus. The blessing? Wealth and possessions will be deployed in a God-honoring manner to be used for God’s purposes.


Dear Heavenly Father, May I live each day with an attitude of gratitude for the provisions of life and for life itself. May I live in humble obedience to You and recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from above. Amen.