I don’t need flashy special effects or big name actors when I watch a movie or TV show. I just want t a good story. Of course, it helps if it’s done well, but if a good plot is not there, I’m not interested.
One of the best written shows with great story lines goes back 60+ years: The Twilight Zone. This anthology series from Rod Serling had great stories, and most of those stories had some twist at the end. One memorable episode from its first season aired April 15, 1960 and was called “ A Nice Place to Visit.” The story centers on a small-time crook, Rocky. At first he is shot, but he wakes up to find himself unharmed and being cared for by an elderly man named Pip.
Rocky discovers that Pip has the uncanny ability to give him whatever he wants. Pip provides him with a luxurious apartment and expensive clothes. As Rocky’s request, Pip brings beautiful women into his life. He gives Rocky a pool table, and Rocky is able to sink every ball on the first shot. Rocky wants to gamble, so surrounded by beautiful woman, Rocky is taken to a casino where he wins repeatedly without a single loss.
Let me stop there and say that surely sounds like the dream of most person. No want. No delay. Every pleasure and every whim met. Over thirty years ago, Donald Trump said this episode of the Twilight Zone served as inspiration for his philosophy of success.
But let’s get back to the story. A full month passes and every whim of Rocky’s is fully satisfied. Great, right? Nope. Rocky is bored. Bored out of his mind. With every whim immediately met, there is no challenge, and what was once fun becomes boring. Rocky calls up Pip.
Rocky: “If I gotta stay here another day, I’m gonna go nuts! Look, look. I don’t belong in heaven, see? I wanna go to the other place.”
Pip: “Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea you were in heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the other place!”
Having great wealth and the ability to buy any item or experience we want is not all it’s cracked up to be. There’s something greater than wealth—something far greater.
“A gracious woman gains honor, but violent people gain only riches” (Prov. 11:16).
If you gain only riches, what do you really have? As Solomon observed about wealth:
“God gives a person riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy” (Ecc. 6:2).
Chase after wealth, but you still die. You’re left with nothing. So, if all you have is wealth, what do you really have?
The same proverb also mentions the gracious woman. She may or may not have wealth, but what she has she is gracious with. What does she gain? Honor. Honor from others and honor from God.
I’ve never been one to chase wealth, but I’ll admit I like living comfortably. I have found something greater to chase after: character. That’s what the woman in the proverb is noted for: her character. When we pursue the things of God … when we strive to live with integrity and righteousness … when we seek Jesus above everything else, we develop a godly character—and with that we gain something far, far greater than worldly wealth.
“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20).
The wealth I am determined to pursue is the joy and richness that comes from walking with Jesus. And whatever blessings I experience now are small compared to that which awaits us in His coming kingdom. So, if you want wealth, go ahead and chase it. But in the end, that’s all you have. But in Christ, there are riches that are unending.
“Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage” (Prov. 11:28).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33).
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 Wayne Barrett, The Deals and the Downfall. New York: Harper Collins, 1992, pp. 31-32.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about The Secret to Wealth That Is Tax-Free.