One Suit Of Clothes At A Time
Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs (Proverbs 30:8).
Have you ever thought about what it would feel like to be rich?
Someone once asked George M. Pullman, maker of Pullman railroad cars, "How does it feel to be a millionaire?" In his day, a million dollars was worth many times what it is worth today.
"I have never thought of that before," he replied, "but now that you mention it, I believe I am no better off -- certainly no happier -- than when I did not have a dollar to my name and had to work from daylight to dark. I wore a good suit of clothes then, and I only wear one suit at a time now. I relished three meals a day then a good more than I do three meals a day now. I had fewer cares, I slept better, and may I add that I believe I was generally far happier in those days than I have been many times since I became a millionaire."
Most Christians can understand Pullman's plight and the futility of trying to find happiness through riches. In the parable of the sower, our Lord said, "Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful" (Matthew 4:18-19, NIV).
Yet, if asked, most Christians would not turn down a chance at wealth! And that is not wrong. A true follower of Christ would be a good steward of that wealth and use it for God's glory.
Miracle of miracles, I finally became a millionaire a few years ago! That was in 1996 when I received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and the $1 million award that goes with it. But I was not a millionaire for very long, as I immediately donated it to the worldwide fasting and prayer
evangelistic ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ International. I was probably the most temporary millionaire in history!
As Pullman learned, earthly riches never fully satisfy the heart. True wealth boasts in the knowledge of Christ and of His great salvation, and in our dependence upon Him for the abiding riches that He bestows on all who believe and trust in Him.
Of course, in America and the West, ordinary citizens are rich compared to the plight of billions of poor people in other parts of the world. Let us be thankful for what God has given us, and also use it to help others and glorify God.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.