Week 33 Thursday

Money, Money, Money

Today’s scripture selection: Proverbs 17-19

Key verse: Proverbs 17:1

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”

As a pastor I’ve seen too many families torn apart over money.

How many is too many?  Even just one.  And I’ve seen many, many more than that struggle with this issue.

That’s what makes the Proverb in today’s reading selection so powerful; so poignant.  It’s something that has plagued humanity since we first started hoarding what we thought valuable.

It might be chickens or firewood; gems or gold coins; coal or gas; or most anything.  I suspect the particular commodity matters little.  But, if our culture says we need it – and he or she who has lots of it wins (whatever that means, since the definition of “winning” also varies) – that’s when we get into trouble.

And before you know it, anxiety and stress levels rise, tempers flare, and we find ourselves living in houses “full of feasting, with strife.”  Or, we may find ourselves in houses stricken by poverty – but still full of strife – because of what we don’t have.

Don’t misunderstand.  I understand that poverty is no virtue in and of itself.  I get that people are bound to struggle and fight under the weight of need.

All I am saying – all the proverb is saying – is that people can get their priorities so mixed up that things matter more than people, even the people they say they love.

In the end, it’s not so much about how much you have or how little; it’s how you make it through life with your focus on what really matters.  And family matters.

 

 

Prayer: Lord, help me to always keep my priorities straight; especially when it comes to the difference between things and people.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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