Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Be Careful What You Ask For

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

And their eyes were opened;

Tony Robbins tells a little story from the early days of his career. He had just finished teaching one of his first seminars. He was excited to have a paying audience so he couldn’t sleep. He decided to go for a walk in an area near his hotel. Along the way a drunken panhandler asked him for some money. Tony decided to give the bum some money, but he wanted to make sure it was a teaching moment. He asked the drunk, “How much do you want?”

The bum said, “Just a quarter.”

Robbins asked him, “Are you sure that is all you want?” The panhandler assured him that a quarter was all he wanted. At the time Robbins, at the suggestion of his mentor, carried a roll of small bills wrapped with three hundred dollar bills. His teacher wanted Tony to get used to handling money. So Tony fished this wad out of his pocket with a great flourish. Unwrapping it, he fished a quarter out of the middle of the roll. He made a show of handing the quarter to the vagrant with these words:

“Life will pay any price you ask of it.”

The bum’s mouth dropped open. He looked back and forth between the quarter in his hand, the pocket containing the roll of money, and Tony Robbins’s face. Finally, in confusion he announced, “You’re weird.” With that he shuffled on into the night.

The blind men at the beginning of this post didn’t ask our Lord for a handout, as was their custom. They asked him for their sight, a miracle. Now don’t expect me to sing a chorus or two of, “Lord Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz.” There is a balance in these teachings. Consider the prayer of Solomon, perhaps the richest man in history.

Two things I ask of you; do not deny them to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need, or I shall be full and deny you, and say, “Who is the LORD?” or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30.7-9

I was reading a web discussion on some of Dave Ramsey's teachings. One woman stated she was disturbed by his focus on growing rich. She didn’t want to be rich. She wanted to learn how to manage her money well enough that she could concentrate more of her energy on what she loved, being a school teacher. I don’t know the entirety of her story, but it sounds to me she is asking for something good and healthy to come into her life. May her prayer be answered.

If God has trusted you with riches, remember that ultimately it all belongs to him. You have been named caretaker of a portion of God’s wealth for a very short time. As you earn money, save it, invest it, spend it, and give it away, keep this in mind.

The Tony Robbins video, if you are interested.

The world will give you exactly what you ask of it

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