Some adults are like that—always looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. On the beach or in a field or park, you can find them with a huge headset over their ears and a metal detector in their hands. Others play the lottery or bet on horses. Some are even more ingenious and hope to make their fortune through get-rich-quick schemes promising a bright future and monetary rewards.
I read stuff on the Internet all the time about how you can make $2,000 or more a month and never leave your house. However, you will need a credit card and at least $300 credit available to buy the software that will tell you how to do this. The only people getting rich off those schemes are the ones selling the wares.
Years ago, Wealth Without Risk by Charles Givens and the sequel, More Wealth Without Risk, were on the bestseller lists for months. Why? Because people want to get rich the easy way. During that time, I read every book and pondered how these books with great titles but no substance could make people wealthy.
Gullible audiences are making these economic snake oil peddlers rich by buying their anemic advice on the hope that they will someday become like their mentors. The truth is, it rarely happens to anyone and most important never happens to a person who has read one book. The fact is: Bad advice can lead to some terrible consequences.
There are scriptural references to financial freedom. One of those is found in the Bible in the Book of Galatians 6:7-9. It is the principle of sowing and reaping. What we sow, we also reap. This applies to the spiritual influences of man but also the principle applies to material things such as money.
For our wealth to accumulate and grow, it needs to be planted in the right soil and fertilized just like you would a crop. The first step is to understand this. A few years ago, our church was struggling a bit, and I asked the congregation to be praying about our needs.
After my appeal that Sunday morning, one of the young married men in the church came to me and said:
“Pastor, I’m going to Reno, Nevada, to play the lottery. If I win, I will give the church my winnings. Do you think God will bless that?”
I remember well my answer. “God’s blessings do not hinge on whether you would give Him all your earnings or not,” I said. “The test of His blessings hinges upon what you are doing with the dollars in your pocket right now.”
It is not God’s plan for us to gain money by chance. Millions and millions of lottery tickets are sold throughout the United States each year. Only on rare occasions out of hundreds of millions of chances have I ever seen someone praise God for the winning a lottery—much less give a large portion of the money to their church.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus teaches us to invest our money wisely. We need to plant our money where it will grow by sowing it in prudent and safe investments.
A lady in our town came to me one day and said, “You have to get a hold of my husband’s money. If you don’t get it and put it where he can’t find it, we’ll have nothing left for retirement.”
“What is the problem?” I asked.
“My husband plays the futures and options markets and has wasted $150,000 of our retirement money because he listens to these brokers who call him on the phone and tell how they can make him rich!”
After talking to her husband about the unnecessary chances he was taking, I was able to put what money they had left away in low-risk investments, and they ended up retiring in fine shape.
God doesn’t want us to throw money He has given us down rabbit holes or bet on racehorses. By the way, investing in options and futures is the stock market’s answer to the horse race. God wants us to follow the principle of sowing and reaping.