Life after death: Lessons from the Banking World

"For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matt. 16:26

I've been pondering this lately. Its the nature of my job, I guess. Arvest's mission statement is "People helping people find financial solutions for life," and in the matter of the Trust Company, we're "finding financial solutions" even after that. We watch people "live" on even after we have the death certificate in hand. We carry out legal agreements sometimes forever. How inconceivable is that?! To establish a Trust that will never run out (unless huge stock market crash, etc).

This isn't a commercial for my company, it's just a musing (blogging) of sorts on the meaning of life. What do we gain, if we leave $1,500,000 to our children, who in turn leave $ to their children? Or is there something to gain by leaving $1million to a "charitable foundation" that will support ministries, or scholarship funds around the world indefinitely? I know, in a spiritual sense, it doesn't matter. And that's what I tell myself, with $200 in savings right now. That in the end, it'll all burn anyway, and the important thing is the state of your soul. We work so hard to "be somebody," to climb the ladder, and to have an influence, sometimes my eyes open to how fast I try to run in that little "hamster wheel." :) Is Matthew (quoting Jesus) saying we shouldn't "gain the whole world," that we shouldn't invest in what this world offers? Or is He offering perspective on life? I was talking to a friend last night, discussing "budgeting," and how "tight" things feel right now. Should we strive to get out of debt? For what? This is a whole other topic: Debt. I won't meander off the trail too much, but I know God is honored when we use the resources we have, and functioning in life through debt doesn't seem like "using resources we have," it's using resources we don't have.

I do think it's amazing how some people are blessed in order that more people can "gain their souls" for years and years. I would love to be able to fund a church or "Compassion International" or one missionary family in Tibet for "X" number of years, even after I'm gone. I am so thankful where I am, I know what it's taken to get here, and the fact in some places in the world our salary would feed a village for months. I know it's all a gift, and in the Big Scheme of things, what matters are the things of the heart...things like integrity, thankfulness, love, hospitality, generosity, patience, and faith.

Hard to balance in the world we live in. The race to get more, to have more, to be more. I don't want to get caught in it. I want to be wise and frugal, and generous at the same time. I want my family to be thankful and to invest in things that matter...to have a grateful and generous heart. For the Lord to be honored in the decisions we make in our financial lives.


shauna 29/9/04 8:11 AM  

amen, sista!!!

Elise 6/10/04 9:45 PM  

Getting ahead. . .it's something I don't think about too much, but sometimes I get smacked in the face with it. I realize that certain life choices that Brett and I are making right now will prevent us from enjoying some of the pleasures that I grew up with. I'm really okay with that most of the time, but sometimes I feel this longing, this desire for a THING. Usually a thing for my kids or something to benefit my family, but still. . .a THING.--A swingset for the back yard, or a bicycle or a special vacation.

On another note, I know that I am not a good steward of the resources God has given me. I still need to grow so much in this area. I am inspired to do so because I firmly believe that the way I interact with money will be a huge witness to my (extended) family and the world. If I don't cave to those strong desires, if I invest in things that really matter. . .then people will see that God's kingdom is my priority.

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