Avoiding Bankruptcy

images (4)1 Kings 17:12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

Rising unemployment. Fear of inflation. Businesses going bust. Mortgages underwater. Depleted savings. With all the talk these days of economic woes, it started me thinking of a far greater danger than the loss of money: the threat of spiritual bankruptcy.

Spiritual bankruptcy occurs for a variety of reasons. Often it creeps up on us when we experience a period of stagnancy or weariness. We wrongly conclude our usefulness is over and opt for some kind of premature retirement, not realizing that our most productive years may lie ahead. Winston Churchill led the free world against the ravages of Nazism in his late 60s, Ronald Reagan was reelected president of the United States at 73, and Grandma Moses started painting at 77. Yet each one faced earlier defeats that could have derailed future fulfillment of God’s purpose.

In order to avoid spiritual insolvency…keep investing. Even when it seems you have nothing left to give. Remember the widow who used her last bit of oil and flour to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17)?  Her obedience resulted in a continual supply of food for her family. We all have a multitude of assignments…temporary tasks—both big and small—that beg to be completed. Don’t withdraw too early. Keep depositing. Keep doing good. 

What is God commissioning you to do right now? Maybe it’s persevering through a rotten summer job. Maybe it’s learning to be thankful that you have a job at all. Perhaps you have been assigned the care of an elderly parent or young child. You might be learning to forgive, as Max Lucado so eloquently describes, “people in your past who have dipped their hands into your purse and taken what was yours.” Or your assignment may be trusting the Lord to be with you in the unexpected circumstance you are facing.

I don’t know what it might be for you. But I do know this: the more you spend yourself completely, not only will you avoid bankruptcy, but you’ll also find the riches of heaven.

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