If I Were a Rich Dad

The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad taps into our desire to understand what the rich know. But I look to a different book to understand fatherhood—and true riches!

Many years ago on a long road trip taking our kids to summer camp, a friend played an audio book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The subtitle of the book is “What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”

The author’s basic theme is that his real dad, a highly educated public servant, constantly complained about being broke, while his best friend’s father constantly enjoyed the finer things in life. The book claims to be a collection of financial lessons he learned from both men. From the parts I heard, it was clear that he had more respect for his “rich dad’s” street sense and his financial goals and choices.

I admit that I didn’t hear the whole book and I remember even less, so I’m not trying to comment on any financial principles the book might espouse. But what stuck with me was the low esteem the author seemed to have for his real dad’s accomplishments in life.

My poor dad

My own father has never been rich, but I have felt richly blessed to have him as my father. My dad was actually doing fairly well financially working for a huge aerospace firm, but when he learned about the biblical Sabbath, he faced a choice between keeping his job or obeying the things he was learning in a best-selling book: the Holy Bible. He chose faith over financial security.

In his new profession as a self-employed house painter, my dad worked hard. He was fair—and more than fair—to his clients. He never wanted to charge more than he thought was reasonable, and he ended up absorbing some losses because he was too nice.

Doing these things did not lead my dad to financial success, but they are admirable qualities of a true and giving Christian. I saw the biblical principles of turning the other cheek and esteeming others better than himself in action (Matthew 5:39; Philippians 2:3).

My rich Dad

As much as I respect and appreciate my poor dad, I also appreciate that he helped introduce me to my rich Dad and His wonderful instruction book. By bringing me up “in the training and admonition of the Lord,” my dad helped me to identify the true riches (Ephesians 6:4).

What are those true riches? The Bible records this breathtaking promise to those God is calling:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

God—the Creator of the entire universe, the owner of all the gold and silver, the most powerful being imaginable—loves us and wants us to be His sons and daughters!

That’s a message that I want to share with my family and friends and everyone!

If I were a rich dad …

I am not considered rich in this society, but I have been blessed in many ways, including living in the United States and having a rewarding job that takes care of my needs. In talking with people from developing countries, I am reminded of how blessed I truly am!

However, I don’t have a large inheritance to pass on to my children in this world. Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I could wish I were a rich man—at least for the sake of my family.

But most of all, I hope that I have shared with my children what has been entrusted to me—the true riches of a spiritual relationship with God our Father. In the eternal scheme of things, that relationship is far more valuable than all the silver and gold in the universe.

I hope you will want to learn more about my rich Dad and His offer to humans to become His children. There is no priority more important! Please take time now to read more of what the Bible reveals about this wonderful truth in the article “Children of God.”

Happy Father’s Day to my poor dad and my rich Dad!

About the Author

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter (including World Watch Weekly). He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who have the privilege of answering questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.

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