22220.048 God’s “Get Rich Slowly” Scheme

Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Proverbs 13:11)

The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble. (Proverbs 28:20)

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (Proverbs 11:24)

I dare you! Go to Las Vegas (a.k.a. “Lost Wages”) and rent a billboard on The Strip proclaiming, “Get rich slowly. Be a multi-millionaire in thirty years.” Leave a phone number. Then rent a second billboard with the same message but “in thirty days,” not thirty years. Compare the number of calls you get to each number.

Is it fair to assume that you will get ten times more calls to the “thirty-day” message? Do you think anyone sits at a casino gaming table hoping to get rich slowly? I doubt it. Any investment advisor can show you how small an amount invested at 7 percent and compounded with dividends adds to $1,000,000.

King Solomon understood working with money. He was one of the wealthiest kings in the world. He also understood greed…and impatience. American impatience and greed are known around the world. We want “instant everything.”

Principle: The one who is driven to get rich quickly (1) is vulnerable to scams—”too-good-to-be-true”—schemes, (2) risks rationalizing questionable (even illegal) financial schemes, and (3) sets himself up for losing everything.

There is a maxim in investing which declares, “Bulls make money; bears make money; but pigs never do!” I know two Christian businessmen who “cut some corners” to cut deals they “just couldn’t pass up” and ended up serving prison time. They lost the time they thought they were saving to get rich! There are better ways and better places than a prison to start a “cell group.”

Principle: God gives people the ability to get wealth. Jesus taught that the “gift of acquiring” enables the gift of giving. As we give, we receive, not the other way around.

My wife and I tested the principle that you cannot outgive God. We both came from tithing families and gave 10 percent off the top of our income the first year of our marriage. At the end of the year, we did our taxes and realized that God had blessed us wonderfully. I admitted feeling “cheap” that we had given God only 10 percent!

“Honey, do you think God would enable us to give Him 20 percent this year?” She agreed to try if He enabled us. At the end of the year, with no more income coming in, I realized we were short $300 of our 20 percent giving for the year. I apologized to God for the short­fall and acknowledged that it was not bad intent, just bad math! Surprisingly, we received a $500 Christmas gift, so we gave God the $300 we owed Him, 20 percent of the remaining $200, and still had $160 left over! We rejoiced!

I asked Donna Lynn, “How far do you think we could push this? Think we can give an additional 5 percent each year to see God’s faithfulness?” We decided to try the plan. Later, when we were giving a higher percentage than we could deduct on our taxes (more than 50 percent), I had to seek counsel from a tax attorney for solutions! We got to about 70 percent when it became not “How much do we give?” but “How much dare we keep?” The flow of miracles and attendant blessings was overwhelming. Try outgiving God! You can’t do it!

Principle: We are to give until it hurts, then keep giving until it stops hurting. The tithe (10 percent of the “first fruits’) is the starting point of giving. Give a percentage of the income you’d like to receive.

[from “Wisdom for the Trenches” by Dr. Larry W. Poland]