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Nov 06 Seeking treasure

10 ways to get truly rich

10 ways to get truly rich
True riches have a lot more to do with attitudes and relationships than finances and designer labels. Grazyna Soderbom encourages us to seek real treasures

1 Seek God and his will for your life

You will be happy and have an authentic vision for your life when you strive to be all that God made you to be. Spending time with God through daily prayer or times of retreat is the most important investment you can make. Even 15 minutes of daily prayer will enrich you and inspire you to pray more often and to know God's presence in your life.

A W Tozer wrote: "The man who has God for his treasure has all things in one. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the source of all things he has in one all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight".

2 Simplify your cluttered life.

Jesus tells us not to store our treasures on earth, "where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Instead, we are to seek those treasures which can be stored in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21). When we simplify our lives, we rid ourselves of potential idols leaving us free to pursue and serve God only (Deuteronomy 8:19).

So don't attach yourself to money, material possessions, career and social ladders; instead, live a simple, humble life in obedience to God and his will for you. Seek to grow rich in patience, kindness, humility, generosity, forgiveness, truth, joy, peace, gentleness and faithfulness ... (Galations 5:22 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

3 Give something to someone in need

Live generously and always tithe the first fruits of all of your wealth, such as time, money, energy and education to the Lord (Proverbs 3:9).

4 Treasure your character

Integrity, generosity, courage, kindness, and trustworthiness are fine qualities to have and wisdom and knowledge are worth far more than rubies or gold (Proverbs 8:10-11). Pray for and strive to grow in these valuable traits (Proverbs 21:21).

5 Enrich your relational life

Make new friends and nurture those you already have. Adopt a child, a granny, a widow/widower, a poor family, a single parent and find ways to serve them. Include them in your own family activities, particularly on social occasions when they can find themselves alone, such as Christmas or Sunday lunches.

6 Learn something new whilst making new friends.

Join a Bible study or house group, learn to play tennis or how to cook Italian at evening classes and invite some new friends home to share your studies or test your culinary skills. Not only will your home overflow with lovely friendships, but also wisdom, understanding and knowledge (Proverbs 24:3-5).

7 Prioritise your family

Trade some working hours or one of the jobs that maintain your artificial, world-driven standard of living for priceless time with your precious family. Reconsider your material needs - will another pair of Nike trainers really bless your children or will a family picnic in the forest on their birthday be something they treasure forever?

Consider the value of being there for your family when they come home each day. Imagine everyone sitting down to dinner together and sharing their day with each other. Attend your children's Christmas plays and sports days. You can always increase your office hours when they start school or leave home.

If you are financially wealthy and know a family struggling with poverty, commit to helping them money-wise so that they too can enjoy more family time. If you are single, create your own 'virtual family' by spending time with and mentoring your friends' children; you will grow rich in the mutual love and relationships that will flourish.

8 Sponsor a child in the Third World

Girls have a particularly tough time in many countries, so think about supporting them through one of the many charities seeking to enable people in the Third World enjoy a better quality of life . "Adopt them" and involve your family in writing to and praying for them.

9 Discover the wealth of God's creation

The simple things in life really are free. Get up earlier each morning to watch the sun rise and thank God for your true treasures. Walk the children to school and chat with them as you go. Eat breakfast in your garden when the sun is shining; when it's raining, grab your waterproofs and Wellingtons and go puddle splashing. Buy a book on plants or birds and learn about God's awesome creation. Save up for a trip-of-a-lifetime to see the Grand Canyon. And while you are enjoying creation, get environmentally friendly and honour the work of God's hands.

10 Write a will to leave behind as much love as possible

Mary prized the words and actions of Jesus and treasured them in her heart (Luke 2:19; 2:51). Since the only real riches you will leave behind you will be your love in word and deed, find creative ways to love people - extravagantly.

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