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Your Host, Randy Petrick
  • Writer's pictureRandy Petrick

HOW TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF ETERNITY

Updated: Apr 6

Wealth is our “privilege” to steward God’s resources over a lifetime in ways that change the course of eternity.

Person adding some change on a calculator as they are stacking coins into small piles. Each stack of coins has a tiny tree growing out of the top of the pile.

Abundance is “an ample quantity” (as in an abundant amount), and many people define a life of abundance as a life of “affluence” or “wealth.” But what is wealth, anyway? Take a minute and think about how you define wealth. If you ask my relatives, the Websters (yes, the dictionary ones – and yes, they are my relatives), the primary definitions are “much money or property; a great amount of worldly possessions; riches.”


There is also a secondary Webster’s definition: “a large amount of something; abundance.” Note that it said, “of something.” Could we have a wealth or abundance of something other than money or tangible items? Of course. Couldn’t we have a wealth of friends, love, knowledge – maybe even time? Certainly. There are many kinds of wealth.


Hmm. We talked in a prior post about the parable of the rich fool. [See Blog Post: How I Discovered I Was a Fool.] He built up significant wealth, but God demanded his life from him just as he was ready to stop the hamster wheel and eat, drink, and be merry. What was the lesson we learned from that? The rich fool hadn’t been “rich toward God.” He hadn’t considered his wealth to be under God’s ownership nor viewed his role as a steward. He hadn’t lived up to the responsibilities God gives those He blesses with abundant wealth:


“And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him] and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP


Note: The Bible doesn’t say we are not to have wealth. In fact, it says God can easily bring abundance to us. The reason God chooses to do so is what’s important. God causes favor and blessing to come to us not so that we feel sufficient in ourselves or our assets but so that we have “an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” God blesses us so that we can bless others.


The failure of the rich fool was that he considered everything he had to be his own to use and enjoy and not as assets belonging to God that needed to be stewarded for God’s purposes and glory.


How Much is Enough?


Dark haired woman looking pensively out a window toward a large apartment complex which is indistinct in the background.

Here are some questions: First, “Would you like to have a wealthy friend in the top 5% of the world’s population?”


Further, “If you had such a friend, how would you like to see that friend behave concerning you?” For example, if you had needs, would you like to (perhaps even expect to) see your friend share out of their abundance?


Or, instead...


“What if you were a wealthy person in the top 5% of the world’s population? Do you think you would be personally satisfied with being one of those highly wealthy citizens? Would you consider yourself to be “rich enough” and be satisfied? Would there be things you might do differently than your life now if you were in that lofty stratosphere?” Interesting questions, aren’t they?


Let’s have a brief quiz – it’s an easy one, but one I think you’ll find very enlightening. First, raise your hand. (No, I don’t care which one.) Now keep your hand up until you read something that doesn’t apply to you. . . (I’m trusting you here!) . . .


An Enlightening Quiz

1. Do you:

  • Have enough food

  • Have decent clothes

  • Live in a home that shields you from the weather

  • Own some reliable transportation (bicycles count)

Congratulations! If your hand is still up, you are a member of the top 15% of the world’s population in terms of wealth. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?


2. Now, still keeping your hand up until something doesn’t apply to you, add to the prior list...

Do you (in conjunction with a spouse or significant other):

  • Also have some savings

  • Have a hobby that requires some equipment (photography, skiing, fishing, etc.)

  • Have two cars (in any condition; your hand can stay up even if one of them isn’t in running condition!)

  • Have a variety of clothing

  • Have your own house

I’m sure many of you reading this blog meet these additional standards. Do you remember your answer to the question, “Would you like to be in the top 5% of the world’s wealthiest people?” Consider this: If your hand is still up, you already are!


Out of Whack and Thinking Back

Okay, if your hand is still up, you can put it down now. I don’t want any lawsuits because I caused you to throw your shoulder out of whack.


Consider the earlier question: “Would you be satisfied with being one of the wealthiest 5% of the world’s population?” If you answered “yes,” what does that now say to you? Are you satisfied?


I also asked, “Would there be things you might do differently than your life now if you were in that lofty stratosphere?” You may want to revisit this question and answer and really ponder it.


In your quest for “more,” please remember that you are already wealthy—notably wealthy—and that you already have responsibilities to those who are less fortunate.


Changing the Course of Eternity

Two arrows on a chalkboard. The one on the left was in white, but is now smudged out. The one on the right is larger, in yellow, and curves to the right.

In this abundant world, we’ll never have a shortage of decisions to make as stewards of everything God has entrusted us, but what a fun adventure it will be as we prayerfully consider all the fascinating options.


What is wealth? My dictionary relatives say it is “much money or property,” “a great amount of worldly possessions,” or “riches.” I (Randall “Webster” Petrick) say it is “our privilege to steward God’s resources over a lifetime on earth in ways that result in changing the course of eternity.” That’s wealth I can get excited about!



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