Who moved my cheese?
You have planted much but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.
Teddy Pendergrass had a song where he sang, ‘The more I get the more I want.” We could add to that song today by saying, “The more I get the less I have.”
The law of diminishing returns states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower per-unit returns. For example; the use of fertilizer improves crop production on farms and in gardens; but at some point, adding more and more fertilizer improves the yield less and less, and excessive quantities can even reduce the yield.
Many of our lives are like that field. We’ve poured so much fertilizer on our selves (money) but we have failed to fertilize other fields (giving). As a result we stopped growing with what we were wasting on ourselves. When we spend more on ourselves and fail to bless others we will experience diminishing returns. At some point in life we fail to get anything productive out of what we get because our returns have diminished through greed. We think that somebody has moved our cheese when in fact we are responsible by over consuming and under giving.
In the classic business book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” Itchy and scratch, two mice, have a dilemma. The place they used to find cheese is running out of cheese gradually. Itchy stays put waiting for more cheese to show up in the same place while scratch uses his instincts to find more before the old runs out.
Many of us are like Itchy standing still in the same place doing the same old stuff expecting something new. The reason the cheese has moved is because of the law of diminishing returns. We’ve wasted so much time consuming without being obedient to the Spirits leading and sowing in new places.
If we can be honest we’ve all had seasons where we gave more attention and resources towards our physical house instead of sowing into our spiritual house. Haggai had to confront the people of Israel for building up their houses while God’s house lay in ruins. Bishop Rudolph McKissick said , “Our Mother’s generation believed in taking care of the church this generation just believes in taking from the church.”
When you are trying to find your cheese the solution is simple: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you! What things?
1. Your money! The Message version says, “You have spent a lot of money, but you haven’t much to show for it.” The prophet Haggai had to remind the people that they spent so much money on themselves but neglected God’s house. When we give our tithes and offering to God’s house it’s to help God’s people. Many times you can’t keep anything in your house because you’ve neglected God’s house.
2. Your food! You keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up. In third world countries, people are dying from starvation. Children are walking around with skin and bones. We know they need food but in America a lot of poor people are overweight. How is that?! The problem is not that we are not eating, we are not eating right! When I was growing up poor we shared our food with people who didn’t have it. You will never get full being greedy with your bread.
3. Your Drinking! You keep drinking but you’re always thirsty. I wonder why they call it “happy hour?” maybe because you’re only happy for one hour after you get drunk. When you sober up your problems are still there. Many of us choose to self medicate by getting drunk instead of being filled with the Holy Spirit. David said, “The lord anoints my head with oil and my cup overflows. When God uses us to bless others there is no greater feeling than God’s filling!”
4. Your Clothes! You put on layer after layer of clothes but you can’t get warm. Clothes don’t make the man but the man makes the clothes. We waste too much money buying clothes to cover our outside while we are empty inside.
God says the reason I took away your cheese is:
The Message (MSG)
8-9Then God said:
You've had great ambitions for yourselves,
but nothing has come of it.
The little you have brought to my Temple
I've blown away—there was nothing to it.
9-11"And why?" (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) "Because while you've run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That's why. Because of your stinginess. And so I've given you a dry summer and a skimpy crop. I've matched your tight-fisted stinginess by decreeing a season of drought, drying up fields and hills, withering gardens and orchards, stunting vegetables and fruit. Nothing—not man or woman, not animal or crop—is going to thrive."
Help us to be faithful in our giving even when it seems that our cheese is dwindling. You can do more with our little than we can with a lot. Thank you Lord for giving me my daily bread, now let me share it with those around me.
In Jesus Name,