The last time you received an unexpected amount of money, did you give God the glory? What if He wasn’t the One who gave it to you? In fact, what if it wasn’t His will for you to have it?
You might think of the lottery. Somebody spends a couple of dollars on a ticket and wins a large sum. Maybe you watched the press conference where they thanked God for giving them the money. Or maybe you found $20 in your pocket or your electric bill showed that it was already paid?
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
– Proverbs 13:11
The above verse gives us an idea of what God might think of those sudden sums of money that we come upon. Of course, nobody would go as far as to say that God doesn’t want you to have an inheritance from a friend or relative or that He doesn’t bless you with financial blessings but there’s plenty of stats that give Proverbs 13:11 authority.
Economists at the University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt University studied 35,000 winners of Florida’s lottery over a 9-year period. Each person won between $50,000 and $150,000. They found that nearly 2,000 were bankrupt within five years implying that about 1 percent of lottery winners go bankrupt in a given year–twice the rate of those who don’t come into a sudden windfall.
Christians generally agree that the lottery is a form of gambling–something God doesn’t condone, but what about other sums of money? What did you do with your tax refund? How about a Christmas or birthday check from relatives?
Think about your last bonus from work?
Statistics suggest that you spent the money instead of saving or paying down debt but that is what God wants you to do. God wants you to earn your money slowly and consistently and He wants you to use it to pay your debtors. God’s will for your life is for you not to live in debt.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whether or not God wants you to be rich is for Him to know but what we know for sure is that before He trusts you with more of anything, He wants to see you treat the less with spiritual maturity. If you’re spending the extra money that comes into your life, regardless of how small, God isn’t likely to give you more because you’re not using it in a way that honors His word.
Next time you’re blessed with something extra, use it to fulfill God’s Biblical will for your life.