PLAY­ING GOD

Activated - - NEWS - By Scott Mc­Gre­gor Scott Mc­Gre­gor is an au­thor and com­men­ta­tor liv­ing in At­lantic Canada. ■

I’ve of­ten wished I had a truck­load of money that I could use to help oth­ers. There are many peo­ple I know who need fi­nan­cial help for one thing or an­other, and it would be great to have the means to be that help. I day­dream of com­ing along and drop­ping a bunch of cash on my friends, fam­ily, and oth­ers, and watch­ing them get out from un­der fi­nan­cial bur­dens and be free to en­joy life with­out the stress that money trou­bles can bring. As of now, I don’t have those means.

Even though the idea of be­ing this kind of bene­fac­tor is still a cher­ished dream, I’ve been com­ing to an­other re­al­iza­tion: It’s not my job to play God.

Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t be part­ners with God in His work as the kind, lov­ing, and gen­er­ous God that He is. But we are very ju­nior part­ners at best. We have a vote, so to speak, but the de­ci­sion isn’t ours. God has a plan, and He knows what He wishes to ac­com­plish in and through each in­di­vid­ual’s and fam­ily’s life.

I was go­ing over the many mir­a­cles that Je­sus per­formed on earth, and the only one that had to do with money at all was when the dis­ci­ples needed to pay a tax. He had Peter go catch a fish and in­side its mouth was a coin, which was enough to cover the tax. 1 But even in this case, it only met the im­me­di­ate need and didn’t mul­ti­ply like the loaves and fishes. I came to the con­clu­sion that as much as I am tempted to worry about money, I don’t think God is wor­ried about it at all.

You can do a lot of things with money, but money doesn’t buy hap­pi­ness. Stud­ies have shown that the re­spect and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of oth­ers has much more to do with bring­ing hap­pi­ness than sta­tus or wealth do. Once the ba­sics are cov­ered, hap­pi­ness plateaus, and gain­ing more money doesn’t in­crease feel­ings of con­tent­ed­ness. And if the re­spect and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of oth­ers makes us happy, then shouldn’t the ap­pre­ci­a­tion and love of God for us re­ally make us happy?

In fact, it does. The psalmist wrote, “Happy are the peo­ple whose God is the Lord!” That’s not just a state

2 ment, but it’s a for­mula for hap­pi­ness. When we are right with God, we are happy.

Back to “play­ing God.” I still have that long­ing to be able to help oth­ers in a big way fi­nan­cially, but I have to re­mem­ber that this isn’t al­ways go­ing to be the best for the peo­ple in­volved. Only God knows, and it’s bet­ter for me to step back and let God play His role.

1. See Matthew 17:24–27.

2. Psalm 144:15

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