Speaking the Truth in Love

Get Rich Quick

TV commercials promising easy money are amusing. These advertisements assure gullible viewers that they can earn a comfortable living while sitting on their hands: “To learn more, just call the toll-free number at the bottom of your screen.” Call that number, and you may be duped into buying a “starter’s kit” costing only $495.95. Yes, someone is making easy money—but it’s not the naive caller.

The possibility of quick riches entices worldly people. Greed for unearned money explains rampant government corruption, the fleshly appeal of gambling, and many street crimes. But the pursuit of quick money fails to deliver the satisfaction imagined.

A few years ago I read a suggestion that sounded far more promising than the invitation to “call the number at the bottom of your screen.” Posted on a church building sign was this message: “Get rich quick! Count your blessings!” This is a get-rich-quick scheme that actually works.

The apostle Paul instructs the church at Thessalonica to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). And he encourages the congregation at Ephesus to “be filled with the Spirit, […] always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father” (Eph. 5:18, 20). God provides materially for Americans so richly that we tend to take his blessings for granted. In 2011, just over one billion people in the world lived on less than $1.25 a day (worldbank.org). A familiar old hymn urges: “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

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