Following God at all costs
â€œOn Wall Street you will hear many people give opinions,â€ a partner with a financial firm warned a group of interns. â€œYou must learn to watch where people put their money and not where they say you ought to put it. Their actions will tell you more than their talk.â€
It was a good lesson, one that has application for biblical Christians. As Matthew wrote, â€œFor where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.â€
A friend of mine named Wayne was severely tested in this area. He had invested a seven-figure amount in a company in a private transaction. After several years the investment went sour, and Wayne, because the terms of the investment had been egregiously violated, had every legal right to sue the companyâ€™s owner and recover his investment.But there was a problem. Wayne was an outspoken Christian and the companyâ€™s owner was also a believer. Wayne knew his Bible and understood that the apostle Paul told those at the Corinthian church that they shouldnâ€™t sue one another in public courts, because it would harm the name of Christ. Paul went even further and said itâ€™d be better to suffer loss than to shame Christ publicly.
As Wayne thought this through he wondered, â€œDid Paul really mean all investments, even ones this large? Did Paul mean all situations, even ones where the case was clearly a severe wrong? Did Paul really mean money issues as well as personal affronts?â€Against the advice of his lawyers, and several other paid counselors, Wayne chose to forgo a lawsuit and try to work things out privately. After extensive negotiations, the companyâ€™s owner only became more entrenched in his violations: no repentance, no movement at all, no hope of recovering a cent of the substantial investment.
But Wayne held his ground. As an eyewitness observer, I watched this drama unfold and it made an indelible impression on me. I cannot help but believe it also influenced his advisers, who werenâ€™t all believers. Wayne talked a solid-game as a believer and he lived it out even at the expense of seven figures, which was no small amount for him.
Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”