Have you ever been in a situation you knew what you should do but afraid? You wished someone wiser by your side, providing you counsel and encouragement. I like to tell you how one person helped me overcome greed and made me a better man.
I became a Christian 32 years ago. I went to church and did many things a 'good' Christian would do, but I knew I had a big problem because I loved money. I wanted to keep the money all for myself, for my security, and my pleasure.
Jesus once said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart also be." Even though I knew I put my treasure in the wrong place, I felt powerless, and I needed help.
God knew what I needed, and He gave me Ulrike. I met Ulrike 32 years ago. She is beautiful, and something about her made me want to do good. She saw my potential and introduced me to Jesus. We dated and fallen in love and were married two years later. We decided to build our marriage on Jesus, and God used her to help me with money. With her encouragement, I reluctantly went along with her, setting up a budget with a fixed portion of our income designated for charity. Jesus is our treasure, and we want to invest our lives in Him.
Following Jesus is a challenging journey. My wife is always by my side, encouraging me. She is faithful, hardworking, and full of love. She believes in me and challenges me to do the same. There were times I wanted to quit and to give less, especially when I saw a fancy car or a lovely house I wished to possess. When I was tempted, she was there, gently reminding me that our heart is the most precious thing in life; and showed me the joy of leading a simple but fulfilled life by trusting God.
When we missed the church, my wife made sure we gave the double on the following Sunday, reminding me that we should be faithful because God is faithful. Her faithfulness took away my excuses to keep the money for myself. It forced me to be honest and wrestle with my own heart. Her love gave me the courage to persevere. I just needed a little accountability and a lot of love and encouragement.
Over time, as we gave to charity consistently, I started to see the positive effect of sacrificial living. I became content and thankful for what we had. I saw our relationship flourish and our family blessed. It was clear that God is indeed faithful, and the sacrifice I made was nothing compared to the blessings I received. My heart began to change.
Learning to be honest with myself is a crucial part of my journey. Living with my wife always reminds me I should not cheat or lie. Her integrity calls me higher. Each year we did our taxes ourselves to save money. When the tax time came, my wife would ask me, "Honey, can you gather together a list of all things we bought online?" After I gave her the list, she would carefully go through the list and add whatever I left out, making sure we would pay the California use tax fully. One time I asked, "Why bothering to pay the use tax since nobody will find out?" She said, "this is the right thing to do."
We have been married for nearly 30 years. With my wife's help, I have grown to trust more in God and less in money. Being charitable has taught me to be content in all situations. We have built our relationship on faith and love, not on material possessions nor money.
For where your treasure is, there your heart also be.
How about you?
Where do you store your treasure?
Do you have someone in your life to help you become better?