It's Not About Dollars. It's About Change.

Updated: Jan 3, 2021


For centuries, families have fought over how to make money and then fought over the money they made. I've pondered some simple biblical principles that have helped shape my perspective on this. I've been on the counseling end of sessions among family members (not of my own family) who were fighting over the most convoluted, insidious, and before you know it, downright evil mindsets regarding estate settlements. I can't believe my ears sometimes.


From my perspective, I have absolutely no entitlement to any monetary or material inheritance from any of my ancestors - none. While the bible says in Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children." and while I believe we should obediently and diligently aim to do this, this principle and advice seems directed at an individual, encouraging him/her to be like the "good man." I do not believe it is intended to provoke "the children's children" to an expectation and feelings of entitlement to such privileges. What comes to mind here is a Patty Griffin song called, "Poor Man's House" I've realized in sessions and discussions and thoughts about estates and inheritance, that any person could have just as easily been the heir of the "Poor Man's House" who leaves nothing to take. And in this, I am greatly encouraged to have come to know and believe that "It is GOD who gives us the ability to create wealth." (Deut 8:18) and I see and understand that this goes for each new generation! That is such a hopeful thought! So, among all the "claim stakin' and mad makin," that families tend to do in this area, I want to resist those temptations, keep this understanding in mind, and then move my focus to another matter all together: It's not about dollars. It's about change.


I've learned that when you're staring death in the face, money means nothing and you find that the most valuable commodity on earth is relationship. It will someday all boil down to that for all of us. Life is about learning how to treat each other well and when we realize we are, in fact, treating each other poorly, choosing to make a change. How am I relating to my relatives right now? Do I need to change? I'm asking myself that question today at a deeper level of honesty with myself than ever before. I want to just focus on that and see what happens. The Bible says this:


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter:3-12.


"Seems like everywhere we go they find us out. They find out we've been livin' in a poor man's house." ~Patty Griffin

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