When Dad paid the bills

When I was growing up in the 60’s, my Dad and I used to talk a lot about money. Actually, he would talk, and I would listen.

Dad was a pharmacist, and he and his two partners ran the corner drug store near our home. It was a classic old place with a marble soda fountain. The store provided for a decent living for the three men and their families, the delivery man and his family, and several clerks. 

But Dad always discouraged me from following in his footsteps. “Be a CPA”, he’d say. “They make $30,000.”

I don’t know how much Dad made, but it was a lot less than that. Back then, $30,000 seemed like a lot. Adjusted for inflation, it would be about $225,000 today.

Once a month, Dad would sit at his desk and pay the bills. I tried to avoid him on those days, because paying the bills always put him in a bad mood. He especially disliked paying for car repairs. “Never buy your first car,” he would say.

We had older cars that were frequently in the shop. We lived in an older house. I didn’t dress as nicely as some kids at school.

But I don’t recall any of that being a problem.

We had everything we needed and more.

We were content, except maybe for Dad when he paid the bills.

Then I grew up and starting paying the bills.

And no matter how much I got paid, and how many times I got promoted, it never felt like it was enough.

There is a reason Jesus talked more about money than anything else.

Jesus didn’t need money. He was God and didn’t need anything. Yet Jesus talked more about money that he talked about hell, and he talked about hell a lot.

Jesus knew there would always be someone who made more than us.

Jesus knew that the more we make, the more we consume. Luxuries become necessities. The more we make, the less content we are.

Jesus knew this happens to everyone, so we don’t realize it’s happening to us.

Are you giving away so much that it affects your lifestyle?

Are there things you can’t do, places you can’t go, things you can’t buy because you’re so generous? Unless the answer is “yes,” Jesus might not be first in your life.

You’ll never have enough, never be content, until he is.

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