At the height of the Civil War, the Union struggled to pay its bills. With war costing approximately one million dollars a day, the union government was running out of money. So Samuel P. Chase Secretary of treasury, came up with the idea of printing paper money to pay the Union’s bills.
As the story goes, President Abraham Lincoln wasn’t too excited about printing paper money, but the decision was made. Chase, being a devout, pious man, was insistent that the president establish a wise saying on the paper money. But Lincoln didn’t want to be bothered by it and kept putting off the decision.
One day, Chase walked into a cabinet meeting. The president was sitting in his chair with feet propped up on the table, something he usually did. Lincoln said to the assembled cabinet, “ Well if you’re going to put a Biblical tag on the greenback, I would suggest that of Peter and John: “Silver and Gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee.” In the ensuing laughter, the president withdrew to his office.
This humorous anecdote about Lincoln is interesting because it show how paper money printed at that time didn’t represent real value, the same way paper money no longer represents real value today.
There was a time during the history of the United States when paper was printed as gold and silver certificates. These certificates were backed by the hard metals and had real value fixed by the government. The gold and silver were held by the government, a fixed amount of gold versus a fixed amount of currency. The paper money had real value and could be redeemed in gold or silver.
Today, due to legislation, money has only the value agreed upon by those who are involved in the exchange of the money, the governments and the citizens of the countries involved. Therefore, we can no longer redeem the dollar bill for a dollars worth of gold or silver. Money is only a tool.
Why do we pursue something that doesn’t have a real or fixed value but an agreed-upon value daily? Today’s dollar purchases a lot less than it did than it did 20 years ago because it’s value has changed. Yet people continue to pursue money instead of God, who is eternally valuable.
God’s value and the value of His Word never change. if we would seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33), then all these things, including money, would be added unto us. Seeking God rather than seeking money is the scriptural way to obtain prosperity.
Prosperity isn’t about the amount of money we have. Money is only a tool. It has always been a tool that simplifies interaction between God and man, and between man and man.
We should never pursue money, because it’s only a tool with no intrinsic value. The Bible clearly tells us we should pursue wisdom.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting understanding. Proverbs 4:7
It tells us plainly that we are to go after wisdom, and Jesus Christ is wisdom.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
From the first page to the last, God continually tells us in the Bible that He is all we need. In Genesis 15:1 He refers to Himself as “Thy exceeding great reward.” and He tells us in Deuteronomy 8 that He gives us the power to get wealth.
First, we remember the Lord. We maintain a constant, daily communion with Him through prayer, worship and His Word. In that intimate relationship, He supplies us with wisdom, and in that wisdom is the power to obtain wealth.
We must understand God’s attitude toward prosperity, its purposes, how to obtain it, how to keep it and our position of stewardship.