At some point in our childhood someone very solemnly and pompously taught us the “Golden Rule”. From an early age we have heard time and time again these wise words: “Do to others what you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12 NIV). However, past history and recent events have taught us a different “golden rule”; “the one with the gold makes the rules.”

Think for a moment about your family, the society where you live, modern financial, religious, and political institutions. Have you noticed how they are directly and indirectly guided by whoever has the gold?

Nevertheless, the Bible teaches us that “in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11 NIV). For that very reason “ ‘the silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty” (Haggai 2:8 NIV). Furthermore, “the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people” (Daniel 4:17 NIV). What is that supposed to mean?

Well, talents “are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11 NIV) “according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15 NIV). Not because one person may be necessarily better than another, but because He is sovereign and He can do with his possessions whatever suits his will. He himself asks, “Is it now lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?” (Matthew 20:15 NKJ)

Everything we claim to own, be it financially, intellectually, or spiritually, is the result of God’s grace acting in our favor. Before creating Adam and Eve God prepared a perfect world for them to enjoy. After placing them in the Garden of Eden He said: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28 NKJ). Adam never “won” Eden! God gave it to him because He is sovereign, owner of everything, “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6 NKJ).

In the same way, everything we have is simply a vote of confidence that God has given us. The talents and treasures that He has lent us during our shift here on Earth are in our care so that we may love our God with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37,39). Very soon He “will bring every work into judgment…whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJ) and only those who made good use of what God entrusted them will hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:23 NKJ).

Please remember: God owns the gold, and for that reason He makes the rules.