The million dollar test

The million dollar test April 1, 2015

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Below is a simple exercise to help you evaluate your dreams and priorities, but first, I have to tell you an amazing story. Something crazy happened to me this week. I was offered one million dollars. Here’s what happened…

A few years ago, I started the Facebook “Marriage” Page and it currently have over 840,000 subscribers and reaches over one million people every week with marriage-building tips and tools. It’s a great privilege to be able to encourage couples all over the world. We’ve been blown away by the page’s growth and by the positive feedback we receive daily from those who benefit from it.

Over the past few years, several people have made offers to purchase the page and use it as a platform just to sell and/or advertise things, and most those offers have been easy to turn down, but this week came the big one that would make me a millionaire.

At different points in our marriage, my amazing wife Ashley and I have scraped by trying to make ends meet. We’ve eaten our share of cheap food (I still consider Taco Bell a “fine dining” experience), we’ve worn plenty of secondhand clothes and driven our share of old, beat up cars. Today, we are blessed with more than we need, but the thought of having an instant windfall of cash was still pretty enticing, but we said, “NO.”

That’s right, we’d rather be able to encourage YOU than have a million dollars. Seriously.

We see this platform to build stronger marriages and families not just as a hobby or source of income, but as a calling. We want to be faithful to what we believe is a God-given duty to encourage and equip married couples to have a happy and healthy relationship. We believe stronger marriages create stronger families and stronger families create a better world. In fact, we’re in the process of forming a non-profit ministry called “The Foundation for Stronger Marriages” where we hope to continue this work on an even greater scale.

The whole experience of  thinking (briefly) about the money helped bring into focus what really matters to us. The Bible teaches, “...where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21), and we don’t want our treasure (or our hearts) in a bank account. Our real treasure is in loving God, loving people and being faithful to the work we feel called to do.

With that being said, please no one else offer me a fortune, because I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to turn it down again!

So, how does all this relate to you? Do the “Million Dollar Test” for yourself.

I think a great exercise for you and your spouse would be to talk about the things in your life you wouldn’t give up for a million dollars. Hopefully, you’d immediately think of each other and your children, but beyond the obvious, what are those experiences, “callings”, endeavors, blessings, hopes or dreams you wouldn’t put a price tag on?

What in your life is worth more than a million dollars? It’s probably more than you think.

Listing out those things worth more than a million dollars to you will do the following:

1. It will remind you of your blessings.

You’re much richer than you realize! The treasure might not be in the bank, but you are a billionaire in terms of the love, blessings and relationships God has given to you.

2. It will help you focus on what’s most important.

I’m not knocking money, because it’s a part of life. Money is a good servant, but a poor master! This exercise will help remind you of what a focused and meaningful life is really all about. For more on this, check out my post on the 5 keys to a focused life (by clicking here).

3. It will simplify your decision-making process.

When you remind yourself what’s most valuable, it will naturally help you make decisions more easily. You won’t be tempted to chase after every opportunity that blows your way, because you’ll be more grounded and secure in where you’re going.

4. It will help you create a greater legacy.

We all want to be part of changing the world. God created you to be a world-changer, so don’t settle for anything less with your life! Do stuff that matters and stop doing the stuff that doesn’t. Never feel unqualified. God uses people with the right heart; not the right resume.

For daily encouragement, please “like” my new Facebook page and you can also check out my wife Ashley’s blog (she’s awesome), sign up for my emails and connect with me on twitter.

If this post encouraged you, please share it on social media using the links below so we can encourage others too!

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