Wealth... just one of the things most humans strive for. But, is it worth it? The most mis-quoted verse in the Bible is I Timothy 6:10 "For the Love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from faith." Most people quote that as money itself is the root of all evil. This inanimate object can have no power other than the power we give it as humans.
I can remember the day I received the position in my career I had been striving for so long. I was so happy and yet something still didn't feel fulfilling. I wanted to now go higher. I had the office with a BEAUTIFUL view. I had a good salary for the type work I had chosen to do. I had more "friends" than I had for a long time. But, something was still missing. I could now afford a better car and better house or apartment. I could afford some of those little pleasures I really didn't need but wanted. Even though I had this, I wasn't happy. It couldn't give me this the things I longed for the most in my life. Those things like happiness and love were still out of my reach.
When I lost this job I worked so hard for, I lost that "wealth". I lost the ability to buy those material things. I also slowly lost my physical ability to work and the one thing that I thought could bring me all those things. As I read in Ecclesiastes this morning and read many newspaper articles on the net about wealth, I realized my situation is not my own. It has been a human condition which has plagued us for many years in history and in many ways. The articles I read, repeatedly spoke of heartache brought on by a love of the wealth they received. Some spoke of receiving the money and then having family members or friends coming from everywhere wanting it or sueing them for it. In Ecclesiastes 5:11 it says "The more wealth people have, the more friends they have to help spend it. So what do people really gain? They gain nothing except to look at their riches." When we define who we are by what we have, we are never content. "Whoever loves money will never have enough money; whoever loves wealth will not be satisfied with it. This is also useless." Ecclesiastes 5:10 After loosing all the things that I had, I began to realize I never really had those things at all. They all belonged to God even when I did physically have them in my possession. I spent so much of my time trying to get physical things to fill a hole where happiness and love were not that I in the end was defeated, angry, and sad. I was miserable. So was the "wealth" I had really worth it? NO! I see now that money can bring a lot of pain and for some it can bring a sense of happiness. But the love of money and those things it brings will never bring satisfaction. I came into the world with nothing and will leave with nothing. There is nothing wrong with wanting things, but when it is all that matters to me, it is wrong and will never be worth giving up the satisfaction that last for an eternity when I put God first. It will never be worth giving up the joy I feel knowing that the little things I do have were given to me by the grace of God and were not placed above the need for Him. Max Lucado wrote "Heaven does not know you by the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart." (from: Traveling Light) When God looks at each of us He does not see our stuff but only our hearts so can we try to do the same for one another.