I picked a bad profession to get rich in. There are a few pastors with big churches and lots of books to their credit who have lots of money but most Pastors that I know are average if not below average in income. In the early years of pastoring JBC when it was small and struggling and we had eight kids who ate a lot we had to manage every penny, but it was a great life and our kids all learned the secret of being content with what we had, which is invaluable. Paul the Apostle talked about that secret that he found in Philippians 4:12-13,
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.”
The secret is that our abundance almost guarantees that we will have a low trust in God, but when we have little we grow in our daily dependence on Him and our love grows toward Him and not toward the world. contentment doesn’t mean laziness, it doesn’t mean resignation, but it does mean that we recognize that God is the one who keeps an eye on the sparrow and I am worth much more to Him than a bird is. Life is unpredictable but I trust God with my life, and He will take care of me, He always has and he always will.
Those who have taught me and influenced me most in my life have said to me over and over, steward your money well and give away as much as you can to God’s work. The act of giving inoculates our heart against the love or dependence on money, and God is free to give generously to the person who is content either way, with or with out. Learning the secret of contentment is a special kind of freedom of the soul. That is why I say that living life in such a way that our kids grew up with the “Secret” of being content no matter what is invaluable.