by Tad Lindley
The old joke goes, “They asked the farmer, ‘What would you do if you won the lottery?’ He said, ‘I reckon I’d just keep farming until the money ran out.’” As Christians, we don’t gamble, so winning the lottery is out of the question, but what if God somehow arranged for you to receive a million dollars? Perhaps you make a computer app and sell it, or win a lawsuit, or the IRS makes a mistake on your refund, but tells you to keep it anyway. What would you do with that million dollars?
No, really, what would you do?
If you haven’t stopped reading yet and thought about it, please stop and make yourself a mental list. What would you actually do with the money?
Just in case God is listening in on my thoughts…
If you are like me, you were thinking, “I know God can read my mind (Psalm 94:11), so I’m going to list a bunch of good stuff first and hope he is paying attention and decides to really send me a million dollars!” Tithing would be the first thing for me, that is a tenth, or $100,000 (Malachi 3:10). Then a 5% offering of $50,000. After that the IRS gets their cut which is approximately $290,000. Next, I would pay the bank what I owe on my house. As you can see, a million dollars doesn’t go as far as you might think.
A possible reason you have not already gotten the million
It’s so easy to think that we would do a bunch of kind and responsible things with a million dollars, but God knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus taught an important financial principle in Luke 16. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? (16:10-12 NLT)
Faithful in little things
Jesus said, If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. In other words, he is saying, if you did what is right with your $206 Calista dividend check, and you tithed and offered on your 2018 PFD then spent the rest of it responsibly, and gave the IRS their share, then you are the kind of person who will be trustworthy with a million dollar blessing. On the other hand, if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. If you steal from the cash register at your $10 an hour store job, then you will also steal when you are the $50 an hour store manager. If you use a company vehicle for personal business, then you have a high probability of embezzling from your employer later on in life.
Positioning yourself for greater blessing
The best way to improve and move on to bigger and better blessings in life is to take very seriously what God is currently trusting you with. Whether you are the CEO of an alphabet organization or whether you have a Quest card, a TANF check, and you’re staying in someone else’s house. Use it in a way that honors the Lord. Your transportation might be a wheelbarrow. Your outboard might only be a fifteen horse. But use what you have wisely and honestly, and use it to help others, and God will trust you with greater things.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, AK.