Read Haggai 1:1-15 MSG
We hear this catchphrase all the time in commercials. The basic premiss of this catchphrase is “how are you spending you money?” In a capitalistic society, we are constantly inundated with sales pitches for how we should spend our resources. Where we spend our time on vacations, how often we upgrade our electrical gadgets, how often we upgrade our cars, and what/where we eat are often the biggest selling commercial ads in our society. In Haggai, God addresses his people and how they spend their money. He criticizes them for how they waste their money on things that will never “fill” them up. That is an amazing picture of the typical American life.
One of my favorite movies is Schindler’s List. It is a hard movie to watch, and shows us what the Jewish people faced during World War II. A businessman named Oskar Schindler saw an opportunity to get rich during the war off of this group of people. He basically could get slave labor from Jewish people who were eager to avoid certain death in the Nazi concentration camps. Schindler becomes rich quickly, but begins to see what is happening to this group of people. He slowly begins to realize that he can’t just stand by and get rich off these people, as their friends and family die in concentration camps. So he begins to sacrifice the great wealth he has acquired to save more Jewish people. He finally bankrupts himself saving Jews from death, as World War II is ending. He had saved over a thousand Jews, but then a realization occurs to him. Schindler begins to think to himself, “What if I had done more?” The Jewish people give him a ring as a token of appreciation for what he did, and this triggers a wave of regret within him. This clip from the movie shows his reaction:
I wonder if at the end of my life, if I will have some of those same regrets? We are never going to perfectly spend our life’s resources, but when is the last time we have soberly looked at how we spend our time, money, and energy? When is the last time we truly determined if we are living our lives to “fill our own belly” or if we are truly seeking opportunities to “fill others”? What is it we exactly need in this life, and in what areas are we robbing from God? He has given us everything in this life, and nothing we have comes apart from him. So since we are just managers of his resources, are we using them effectively to help others? There is nothing wrong with buying a nice meal, having a nice vacation, driving a nice car, or indulging is some of the other luxuries we sometimes have in this life, but when we truly look at how we spend our time, money, and other resources, does it look like we truly value the lives of others? This world is imploding in front of us, are we going to numb ourselves with entertainment and comfort, or are we going to “put our money where our mouths are” and sacrifice for the eternal benefit of others? One day it will be too late, let’s not waste another day, another dollar, or another opportunity to be God’s hands and feet in rescuing others.