An excerpt from my book Redefine Rich
“Having grown up in the 1980s, I can’t help but have an affinity for Star Wars. George Lucas’ epic trilogy and latter Prequel trilogy changed popular culture and the future of blockbuster films. It’s not surprising that the film series ranks among the top grossing of all time and even have a day dedicated to their legacy: May 4th.
These films set up a great battle in our minds, good versus evil, light versus dark, that is incredibly consistent with the Christian faith. If you recall the original film, A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the old, wise Jedi Master imparting wisdom to a young, Jedi apprentice, Luke Skywalker. Young Skywalker holds the hope for the galaxy, hope to bring balance to the Force and an end to the Dark Side.
Oddly, this reminds me of the books of Timothy found in the New Testament. As I read these letters, I always have an image of a Jedi Master imparting wisdom to his Padawan learner.
The books of First and Second Timothy are actual letters written in the first century by the Apostle Paul to his “true son in the faith,” Timothy. However, as I read through them this week, I had a strange feeling that Paul was writing to me–as if I were the apprentice.
In his first letter, Paul encourages Timothy to be confident, despite his youth. As I looked at the footnotes, I saw that Timothy was in his thirties when he received Paul’s letter. I paid closer attention being that, at this time, I am thirty-two years old.
As I continued on through chapter five, I came upon words I knew I was supposed to read. Paul warns Timothy of a trap that leads to temptation and many “foolish and harmful desires.” Verse ten explains it very clearly.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. [1 Timothy 5:10]
That was me. That is part of my story. Wandering from the faith only to be pierced with grief.
Take note that Paul doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil; he says that the love of money is. He doesn’t stop there. Paul urges Timothy to flee from this trap and fight the good fight of the faith. Then, I read the words that cemented this story in my heart. Words that I think are meant for both of us.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share…so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. [1 Timothy 5:17-19]
I was speechless; I just took that moment in. Paul’s statement met me in the passion of my heart: redefine the meaning of rich. Throughout the writing of this book, I have been given story upon story of true richness. Some of these stories were my own, but many of them were not. As the glass becomes clear, I am beginning to see that all of them are a part of His story.
And they continue.”
I can almost hear Paul’s words being read by Obi-Wan, or better, Master Yoda:
“Rich you are not when place your hope in money, hmm. True richness flows from within, from the Force.”
So much about Star Wars parallels the truths that I see in the Gospel and redefining what it means to be rich is no different. The Apostle Paul spoke of the importance of redefining richness nearly 2,000 years ago. I believe it is still incredibly important today.
It’s Paul’s last line from First Timothy that provides me with hope for you and me both. That we may take hold of the life that is truly life.
I want to know life that is truly life. I want to be rich in all the ways that really matter.
I hope the same for you.
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For more on my book, visit www.redefinerich.com
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking