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Having a Little with Godliness

Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.” Proverbs 16:8 NLT

Like many of you, I have enjoyed competing in different things over the years. I enjoy competing in half marathon races when I can, competing in business and I enjoy competing in the occasional board game. The element of competition helps me to work a little harder and become a little bit better. But there is a difference between competition and war. Competition can help us become better, war is destructive and is focused entirely on winning. While good competition operates within boundaries, war will do anything to win. In a game we may smirk about cheating to win, but in life the stakes are much higher. 

We have all seen the headlines when competition turns to make the sole focus winning. That is when competition has turned into war. And when competition turns into war bad things happen; ethics and morals become compromised, cheating and lying become the norm and instead of getting better; destruction occurs. It can happen in sports, in families, in business and in the pursuit of things. 

When it comes to obtaining things, it is “better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.”  It is a great lie that “whoever dies with the most toys wins”.  Competing in the world to obtain the basics for our lives is a good thing. It is good to work hard, and it is satisfying to enjoy the rewards of that work. But when having a little is not enough, and the focus becomes having more; our hearts can make a shift. Our hearts can shift from the benefit of godliness, hard work, and competition, to the destruction of dishonesty and war. And it is in that war that we may sacrifice our character on the altar of more.

Please don’t misunderstand this passage to mean that having wealth is bad, in and of itself it is not. But when wealth is obtained through dishonesty it isn’t really wealth, but a poison that will eventually bring destruction. 

This week focus on becoming better and nurture a heart of gratitude for what you have. 

In His Hands,