By H. Kent Aguillard
“ . . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . . No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
Matthew 6:21, 24
Investing is a long-time enterprise dating back to ancient times. There are so many references and accounts in multiple cultures as to how people have invested in times past that listing even some is unnecessary. The Bible talks about investing, interest, and how honest dealings in business are not suggestions but are demanded by God.
Pension plans, IRAs, ERISA qualified plans, “QUADROs”, hedge funds, commercial property, the list goes on. Many institutions want you to bring your money to them to invest it for you. People spend a lot of time trying to increase their financial holdings and to acquire more “stuff”. How much money is enough? What if you had $100 million, would that be enough or would you want “Just one more million”. I know some people who seem to never be satisfied with what they have and hence are never really content or happy and certainly have no joy. Joy comes from God. True joy can only come from Him, period.
There is a parable Jesus used about a man who had so much abundance that he said to himself that he would have build more and larger barns in which to store his tangible wealth, his crops etc. Then Jesus said, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is demanded of you; and as for all that you have prepared, who will own it now?’ Such is the one who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich in relation to God.” Luke 12:20-21.
One of the most valuable commodities we have is our time. You cannot create time. How do you invest your time? When you are past your prime and sitting in your camp, house, on the beach relaxing, in a boat fishing, or some other peaceful location will you be able to say, “I may not have much here but my reward in heaven is great.”
Parents and grandparents, do you invest in your children and grandchildren? I don’t mean taking them to some event or to practice for some sport. I mean do you talk and teach your children or grandchildren about life, what is right and wrong, what real love is, how a man should treat his wife, respect for elders, to not waist money, to save, to work, to read? Does your son know how to change a flat tire? Does your daughter know how to properly maintain her vehicle, when to change the oil, rotate the tires, how to drive safely?
All these life-chores require time and it takes time to learn how to do them correctly. I learn a lot as a youngster because I grew up on a farm. While in college I worked, when not in school, in the oil field and at some of the industries west of Lake Charles. I played football at McNeese so I had coaches who invested their time in me. I learned a lot about how to work and to contribute to a meaningful enterprise. Someone (truthfully many ‘some ones’) had to teach me so they invested their time in me.
You have time to do what you want to do. Saying that you are too busy or have too many important things to do so you can avoid spending time with your family – your wife or husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents, or friends is simply not true. Everyone finds time to do what they want to do. I knew a guy who kept his golf clubs in his vehicle so he could play a round of golf at a moment’s notice. Another man I knew kept 3 fishing rods and a tackle box in his vehicle so he could stop at any roadside pond, lake, gulley, or water body and fish – at any time he decided to.
Don’t be one of those souls who when he or she is standing before the Judgment Seat and God asks him, “Why should I allow you into My eternal kingdom full of unspeakable joys, happiness, and comfort, you answer, “Well, I worked really hard to make a living, went to church when I could, never murdered anyone, I paid my taxes, and never cheated on my spouse. I was just too busy so I couldn’t spend much time following Jesus and being alone with You. And Lord, I tried the ‘love your neighbor as yourself thing’ but he was a real jerk so I figured you’d give me a pass on that.”
You don’t get a do-over when your earth suit wears out. When your body stops existing as a biological unit and your soul, which is who you are, leaves for eternity you won’t be able to say to God, “Lord, can I please have just one more day to set things right?” In golf it’s called a “Mulligan”.
This all may sound harsh but if you get aggravated reading this and as a result you do something now about your future, priorities, and relationship with God then this article’s purpose has been met and you won’t end up separated from God in a hopeless place for eternity that was created for the devil and his crew not for man. God sends no one to hell. Anyone who goes to hell has to do that intentionally by wading through the blood of Jesus, ignoring the Cross, ignoring the Resurrection, and trampling God’s love.
Make the main thing the main thing. God will not share you with anyone or anything.