Reflecting on my riches
I awoke Sunday morning to the sound of a news broadcast out of Charlotte. It seems that there is a pastor of a mega church who is under fire for what is being described as a lavish lifestyle. He apparently has just built a 15,000 square foot mansion worth $1.7 million.
As I rubbed my eyes and tuned my attention in to the story, I could not help but smile at a very ironic thought.
Though his house is 15 times bigger than mine, and worth $1.64 million more than mine, I do not feel the least bit cheated by my lot in life. In fact, though by the world’s standards I do not appear to have much, the truth is that I am a very wealthy man!
Allow me to explain...
I got saved at 9 years old, and never experienced the scars of sin. God has allowed me to preach since I was 12, which means I have been at it for 31 years. I married the girl of my dreams, my very best friend, and this March we will have had 20 wonderful years together.
I have been blessed to start a church and pastor it for over 16 years now, and all of the folks there love me and are good to me.
I have 3 wonderful children, all of whom hug and kiss me each night, talk to me about everything going on in their lives, and serve the Lord right alongside me.
My mom and her dear husband are still alive and healthy. I have amazing in-laws, probably the best in the history of mankind. Dana’s dad has become my dad. Her mom has become a second mom to me. All of them are part of my church.
We are all healthy.
We can all see, hear, walk, talk, and play sports together. Each night we can look up at the stars from our home in the country and see the Milky Way. The wind whistling through the pines sings us to sleep each night.
My dog is faithful.
The little mutt guards the front porch like all of our lives depend on it, and he never fails to greet us each evening as if we had been gone for months and he has missed us like crazy.
I am blessed to be allowed to write for this and other amazing newspapers, and to write books as well. I get to travel to different states and countries and preach.
Riches are not really determined by the size of a house or bank account. Some of the poorest people I know could buy a mansion every month! Real wealth is determined by the things that really matter: a relationship with the Lord, the happiness brought on by friends and family, the blessings of health, or even the blessings of His grace when we are in poor health!
In Philippians 4:11-12 Paul said “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
No matter what his circumstances, Paul was able to recognize his own riches. The truth is, most people are far wealthier than they realize. Maybe it is time for us to break out a piece of paper and a pen and do some reflecting on our riches!
Dr. Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro and the author of several books. His books are available at www.wordofhismouth.com