God’s got a funny calculator.
It doesn’t add or subtract according to the laws of nature.
I’m not sure I’ve got it all figured out, but here are some interesting things I’ve noticed about God’s arithmetic.
God’s Contrarian Arithmetic
1. Millions + Foolishness = Nothing
Once upon a time, there was this talented entrepreneur. He wore golden gloves, and everything he touched turned to gold. It was successful, it was growing, it was unstoppably growth. He build his fortunes and saved his millions.
But then it was discovered that he was a fool. He built his empire, but he was not rich towards God.
The end of the equation is that he had nothing. Nada. Zilch.
2. Poverty + Faith = Blessing
Once upon a time, there was a woman who was suffering from devastating poverty. Knowing the end was near, she went out to collect wood to host her own last supper. While she was heading home, a man of God was asked her to cook him food.
Her rational mind figured a cup of oil minus a cup of oil = zero.
But God’s arithmetic is different than ours. Miraculously, the jar continued to produce oil beyond its capacity.
3. Gains Become Losses
Once upon a time, there was a man who was the envy of his peers. He was pedigree. From a popular family. Educated by some of the best teachers. That really made him something in his eyes and in the eyes of his peers.
Yet, one day he writes that all those gains are only worth a pile of manure.
What was a gain was now a loss.
Jesus says that the way to gain life is by losing it. Sounds silly, right?
4. Big Gifts = Small Impact, and a Small Gift = Big Impact
Once upon a time, there were a group of wealthy businessmen who made large donations to the church and the community. Many of the buildings of value were constructed by these important folks.
One day at church they each walked proudly to the donation basket and dropped their wad of bills. The same day, there was a lady who dropped in two pennies.
The Teacher says the two pennies are greater than the stacks of bills.
5. 5 Loaves and 2 Fish + 5,000 people = Leftovers
Once upon a time, there was a Messiah. He had compassion on the group of 5,000 men before him. The accountants said that it was time to send the crowds home since the reservoir was running low. There was no calculable way to meet that need.
Yet, through prayer the loaves and fish multiples and the masses were satisfied. And they even had to designate a clean up crew to collect the leftovers.
6. Giving = Gaining
Once upon a time, a man gave. He gave his money. He gave his time. He gave his talents. He gave his touch.
In the end, he gained treasures in heaven.
The gains didn’t increase incrementally, but multiplied immeasurably.
I hope we all use to learn God’s amazing and fascinating calculator when we reflect on our finances. Ultimately, God’s mysterious arithmetic is going to be the most important.
This post was inspired by some similar thoughts shared in the book Consumer Detox.
What other ways, stories, and examples highlight God’s most unusual arithmetic?