Serve God rather than money.
This commitment is really an outworking of the first commitment of recognizing that God owns it all. God is our great Provider and our trust for the future should rest in Him and not in our finances. Since God has provided us every good gift, we should be seeking to use the money He has given us in a manner that will serve Him and His purposes. Our focus should be on serving God and not bowing at the altar of materialism.
I praise the Lord that He taught me the importance of this principle by allowing me to LOSE money in the stock market. In the late 1990’s, there was a great deal of hype—even hysteria—on the dot com (or Internet) companies. While we did not directly get swept up into this hype, we had a significant amount of money invested in technology companies through stocks and mutual fund holdings. Our core mutual fund was one of the best performers in the year 1999 gaining more than 240% that year and the start of the year 2000 was picking up exactly where the previous year had ended. In March of 2000, our core fund was up about 700% since we purchased it and I knew that such rapid and incredible gains would not continue indefinitely, but I must admit that I was very proud of the amazing paper profits we had gained. Praise the Lord that He wanted to teach me an important principle that I should be focusing my time, affection, and attention on Him and not on the size of my market holdings. He allowed us to lose all of the profits that we had made on paper and then to lose some of the initial principal that we had invested.
It never came anywhere close to where it was at its zenith and, in fact, last year we sold the mutual fund based on it acquiring some companies that we did not want to support—at the time of the sale, we incurred a loss of some of our original principal. My heart is filled with gratitude that God taught me such an important lesson in a firm, but gentle way.