Words from the Heart for Thursday September 15th, 2016
Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NIV)
Accepting Our Lot
Wealth is not necessarily a blessing – it has led many into ruin. But a life that uses wealth as a servant to bring blessing can be very fruitful. Does your money rule you or do you rule your money?
If your local Walmart still accepts your Visa card, you are fortunate – but don’t count on being able to use it there much longer. Starting with three Walmart stores in Thunder Bay last July 18, soon stores across Canada will stop accepting these credit cards. The reason is that the fees charged by Visa are just too high. A spokesman from Walmart, which has 400 stores across Canada, said that the company recognizes that this will be a blow to many Canadians, and the company is committed to working out a deal with Visa. The move comes during a long legal battle between Walmart and Visa. In 2014, Walmart brought a legal suit against the credit card company for what it called “swipe fees.” Visa believes the rate they offered Walmart was fair and said they are disappointed with the retail giant’s decision.
I travel to many parts of the world that are much poorer than we are in Canada. In fact, some of the poverty is gut wrenching and not easy to process. In this day of quick travel globally, it is sometimes overwhelming to travel, in just a few hours, from a place of desperate poverty to the comfortable life in a developed nation. And what can sometimes be even more of a challenge is to come home to hear the complaints of a first world country, that seem so trite in light of what many in our world face. The author of Ecclesiastes noticed this too, and writes in Ecclesiastes 5:19: “Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” Many followers of Jesus wrestle with the wealth with which we have been blessed. Ecclesiastes reminds us that all we have is a gift from God, and if that is so, we should respond in two ways. First, we need to quit complaining. We have wealth and the ability to enjoy that wealth. So we need to be happy. And second, while not mentioned here, we need to be generous in sharing out of our wealth with those who have so little. God didn’t keep the blessings of heaven to Himself. We dare not keep the blessings of earth to ourselves.
These have been words from the heart.