While meditating on financial wisdom, I came across this very funny video of a gentleman who was ready to quit his job after buying a winning lottery ticket. Click the link above to watch this very funny video. I absolutely love this video. This video shows this guy who is so fed up with his current and very dire financial situation that he’s made every possible attempt to rectify it, even going as far as succumbing to buying lottery tickets. I laughed at the fact that the winning lottery ticket he bought, and so dearly longed for, was shredded instantaneously and by accident, thus eliminating his great chances of finally gaining his definition of financial independence”. However; I immediately shuddered at the fact that he absolutely and without a doubt compromised any and every attempts at keeping his current job. His intention of securing his financial future was destroyed by the fact that this was his one and only chance at financial independence. He put all of his financial independence “eggs” on this one winning lottery ticket “basket”. What do you suppose ran through his mind as he lost his financial security and his job simultaneously What did he leave his boss’ office thinking? Do you believe this person learned his lesson, or do you believe he possibly returned to his old ways of buying more lottery tickets?
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:2-8
The book of James begins with challenging believers to be joyful while facing trials of many kinds. The book states that such trials are meant to help us produce perseverance so that it may finish its work of bringing us to maturity and completion, lacking nothing.
But, how does perseverance actually work? Perseverance, as defined in the dictionary says that it is, “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success… So, should this person persevere in his pursuit of buying more and more lottery tickets, or should he persevere in his pursuits of learning how to become financially independent by seeking help from experts in the field? What are your thoughts? What would you do?
James continues to unpack just how we would accomplish this “maturity and completeness”. In verse 5, James unveils the source “maturity and completeness” and that source is Wisdom from God. I love the fact that James understands that as humans, it is our nature to be lacking in wisdom. I am also comforted by the fact that God willingly wants to shower us with wisdom in generous proportions. Isn’t a relief that God is ready for us to come before him and ask him for wisdom? I hope you didn’t miss the part on verse 5 where James explains that God will not “find fault” in us as we approach him to ask for wisdom. Wow and wow! I’m blown away by such love and acceptance. God knows we struggle and he’s completely empathetic and understanding of our situation as we grow in faith. Its as though God is anticipating what we will feel and how feeling condemned by our financial despair would discourage us from seeking his help and from coming before his presence. He has already prepared a way for us to approach him in love and with complete and utter acceptance. Don’t you just want to stop what you are doing and praise God right now? Go ahead, I won’t tell anyone. Click here for a funny praise break!
Okay, now that you’re back from your praise break, let’s resume the teaching. The latter half of the passage presents an even greater challenge. While we are able to come to God freely and we are also able to ask him for abundant wisdom, which He clearly has and which He clearly wants to generously give to you, guess what? It requires you to BELIEVE and not doubt that he’s going to give you such abundant wisdom. Do you find it challenging to accept the fact that God’s plans for you are good? Do you find it difficult to see God as this loving and amazing Father who showers his Creation with good things? Don’t feel alone in your faith-journey. I remember a time when the concept of a generous Creator was hard for me to buy into. I was raised with an image of God the Wrathful. It wasn’t until I fully read the bible that I understood God’s primordial message. To love me and for me to love Him and His creation. My prayer for you is that you take time right now and ask God to help you with your unbelief and that this season of unbelief is so short that you can quickly return to the pathways of wisdom and blessings. I pray right now that you are overcome with the Spirit of Wisdom and that it supersedes your decisions henceforth.
Now that you’ve prayed that prayer and for the ones that have accepted God’s wonderful blessings, what are you to do now, with your awesome self full of abundant wisdom? What are those pesky habits of yours that keep you in financial ruin? Is it the inability to see the benefits of creating and maintaining a budget? I know many people who just despise the notion of a budget. Is it that shopping has become therapy to medicate a condition that you’ve needed to bring to the feet of Christ?
My prayer for you today is that others do not refer to you as “double-minded and unstable”. It is my prayer that you begin to take God at His word and believe that he wants to grant you wisdom. He wants to see you fully complete and fully mature. The blessings from financial maturity look like many things for many people. What does financial maturity look like for you? Comment below. We would love to hear how God is working in you and what your financial maturity looks like to you.
Be abundantly blessed with wisdom today!