Calculating Your Net Worth

Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
–Luke 12:15

In Luke 12:15, Jesus gave His audience this warning: “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” What a startling statement. It does not matter how much you have, your life is not defined by what you own.

You are familiar with the term “net worth.” Today, financial planners will sit down with you and calculate your net worth. First of all, you add up all your assets–your stocks, your bonds, your bank account, your house. Then you subtract liabilities–that is, everything you owe–and that equals your net worth.

There is only one problem with that calculation: it fails to take into account that one day you are going to be separated from your possessions in an event called death. The word “death” is “thanatos” in Greek, and it literally means “a separation.” Death is a separation not only of your spirit from your physical body but also of your being from all your possessions. One day, you are going to leave everything behind, and it is only your spirit that is going to stand before God in judgment. Your life consists of more than your possessions.

Not long ago I was sitting down with our financial planner, and he had all these charts and projections about what this would be worth and what that would be worth, and so on. Finally, after about an hour of this, he said, “Now, Robert, do you have your will in order?”

I said, “My will?”

He said, “Yes, your will. That way, it will be easier for your wife when you, uh, you know.” I thought to myself, “You mean I have just wasted an hour of my life talking about all this stuff that I am going to have to leave behind one day?”

Now, it is good to know what you have and to be a good steward of it. But it is a very foolish choice to spend all your time and energy accumulating things that one day you are going to be separated from. That is the tragic choice Jesus was warning against. Your life is not defined by what you own.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Loosening Your Grip On Greed” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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