Would You Like to Be Rich?

Do you want to make more money? Of course you do. Who wouldn’t? What if I could show you a guaranteed way to make the sort of money that would give you the lifestyle you’ve always wanted: a new house, fine car, boat, travel? And what if you could do that with absolutely no risk?

See, I could have easily made my career writing informercials for shady get-rich-quick schemes. Clearly, I missed my calling. But then I have to get serious as we continue to examine Matthew 6:33:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Having established, or at least beginning to establish, what it is that we’re supposed to seek, I’d like to step backward and re-examine the word “seek.” What precisely does seeking the kingdom look like?

It seems to me that we can learn a great deal about seeking from the sort of people who get excited by money-making informercials. Most of those money schemes promise champagne by the pool with almost no work. When people seek money in that sense, they are essentially going out to grab money that has been carelessly left lying around. This is the sort of seeking at work when people bank on Publishers Clearinghouse, lotteries, or day trading of securities.

I talk about this sort of seeking as if it were universally bad, but it isn’t. When Isaac Newton described his rules of motion, he didn’t create them. They were there and he picked them up and explained them. Similarly, if an investor has the vision to see value in a parcel of real estate when no one else can, should she be criticized? She found value that was just lying around untapped.

On the other hand, people can seek money by attempting to add value to the world. This promises a reasonable return for a lot of hard work and effort. This sort of seeking is what we see when people seek through years at a productive job, starting a new business, or investing for the long haul.

  • The first sort of seeking aims to seek and find by picking up what’s already there.
  • The second sort of seeking aims to seek and find by creating what isn’t yet there.

So which of these are we supposed to do when we “seek the kingdom of God”? Are we supposed to go out and beat the bushes looking for the kingdom? Are we supposed to move there? Or are we supposed to work toward creating the kingdom, helping it to transition “on earth as it is in heaven”?

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus tells us, “Seek and you will find,” but does that mean we seek and find the kingdom like Easter eggs lying around the yard? Or does it mean that the action of seeking somehow helps to create the object, like seeking to grow vegetables in the garden?

I think it might be worthwhile to explore both possibilities.