There are days (a lot of days these days) when I lie down and ask myself what is really the most important thing in life. What really is worth one’s energies? Is it pleasure? Money? Impact? Wisdom? “ki la n le gan gan?” I have analysed it from a philosophical point of view, I have read the views of Aristotle – who rationalized from the need for pleasure, the desire for glory and the search for knowledge. Aristotle came to a point where according to him, the most important thing in life is the contemplative life. In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle analyzes the quest of all life falls on the planes of a search for pleasurable, political or contemplative. He analyzes that all life is lived for some higher purpose, he analyzes that we all pursue happiness, and the talk goes on asking about what truly brings happiness. I would never do justice to his book in one paragraph, if you are interested, you can get more thoughts on this here, trust me though, it’s not going to be an easy read for the average mind.
I have also studied the bible extensively about the answer to the same question-“What truely is the purpose of life?” What are we here to do, and what will bring the highest fulfillment. I read the thoughts of the experiential and experimental biblical philosopher in Bible – The King in Ecclestiastes. After living a life where he pursues all that man can pursue to gain happiness – women, wisdom, fame, projects, e.t.c. He came to a final conclusion that the whole purpose of man is to fear God and obey his commandments. In my own thoughts, I have come to find out as well, that the highest priority a man can pursue meaningfully on this earth is to serve God’s purpose and desire. This purpose differs from individual to individual, but in the final analysis, life is measured against a standard, and that standard is the original intention in the mind of God for that individual.
It is then safe to say, that all the resources, all the skills, all the talents, all the breathe that we have, is to be useful in whatever it is that God’s mandate for our lives are. It therefore means that we are given what we are given, not to own, not to spend, but to give. A man’s life does not consist of that which he possesses or that which he does not possess. A man’s life is measured by it’s contribution, by it’s sacrifice, by it’s giving. We do not have to amass, we are given to share and spread.
I once asked my wife a question, I think it is a question all who God will prosper must know to answer. I asked her, if all the money in the world were to suddenly leave every human being overnight and make it’s way into your bank account, what will you do with the money, and how will you ensure that money is in circulation again. She thought long and hard and said she didn’t think it would be wise to just distribute it. That she would rather find a way of creating a system where the people deserving of it and capable of getting it accross to the people deserving of it get it. Think about it, if this happens, ultimately, the money’s will still end up with the people who can be trusted with it. It will end up with the people who have value to add, and it will end up in the hands of those who will be mindful of the poor, the considerate of those who are in the situations they are without their choice.
Have you ever wondered why Bill Gates was the richest man in the world and also the greatest known giver to causes in the world? Have you ever wondered that as soon as Warren Buffet outgave Bill Gates by still giving to Bill and Melinda Gate’s foundation he became the richest man in the world? Rather than create dollar rains that will make men the enemy of themselves, God decides to make it available to channels who will let it serve his purpose. The Bible says that if a man cannot be trusted with money, he has failed the test of being custodian of true riches. The money test, is a foundational and fundamental test.
A few weeks ago, it was brought back to my memory, that I need to give once again to the orphanage that I have come to see as closely linked to my financial prosperity. I remember that when I had nothing, I told God about my intention to sponsor an orphanage, I made this decision known to the manager, and in that same season, the doors openned. As much as one requires an open hand to recieve, it takes a willingness and commitment to keep the hands open for his resources to flow.
What we are willing to hold on to and not let go of defines our limits. You cannot be more than you are willing to lay down. Jesus earned the biggest name in the world, by laying down the most, and by taking the biggest plunge. God does not do things abitrarily, if God prospers a man, it’s because he has been found capable and it is required for the delivery of his assignment.
In this season as the year ends and you begin to evaluate how you have done, don’t measure yourself by what you have acquired and by how big your account is. Measure yourself rather by how much you have given, how much impact you have had, how many lives you have touched, what you have sacrificed, what you have contributed. Ask yourself, “What am I really chasing?”
In the year ahead, plan to be relevant, plan to support a dream, plan to give to a cause, plan to be a part of the new. Prepare to deliver the future. Trust me, your goals are likely to get the blessings of God if one of them reads for example – “To support an orphanage to the tune of N5,000,000”, than to say “To have a bank cash balance of N10,000,000”. May God give us the wisdom to understand and apply to true purpose of life, and the true why of wealth.