A Story Far Too Common
Let’s think through a hypothetical situation. There’s a couple who gets married, and starts their new life off right. They are both investing into their retirement accounts. They have their financial house in order, and they live a long and healthy life. Then that wretched day comes, the husband gets diagnosed with a horrible brain-degenerating disease. The house they lived in for their entire marriage is now no longer safe for them to live in. Their adult children decide that it is in their best interest to move to a nice senior living facility.
They are very well off.
They have saved for a long time for them to have the ‘retirement of their dreams.’ You know, travel, see the world, eat good food, etc… But time slipped away from them. They worked and worked and worked until their bodies failed, and they aren’t able to enjoy what they worked so hard for.
The wife is excited to be in this facility, mainly because she doesn’t have to take on the primary burden of caring for her husband’s illness. However, the husband becomes bitter. He ponders how they spent over 60 years working so hard for money and a big savings account, and that they are not able to enjoy it like they dreamed they would. He ponders this fact, and does so often…and gets depressed. The money they worked hard for now has a new purpose…to make sure they stay alive. And they have saved quite the amount!
For the husband, their money hasn’t bought him contentment or joy. They have amassed a lot of wealth, and sadly, he seemingly will be depressed until his death because it wasn’t the retirement he dreamed of.
For the wife, on the other hand, she has chosen to have a more joyful outlook on the situation. Although this wasn’t the retirement she had hoped for, she still can have a great time knowing that this is where God has them. This kind of contentment and joy is one that she chose to have.
This kind of perspective is one that money can’t buy.
- Money can’t buy the perspective that they need to have today.
- Money can’t buy them contentment.
- Money can’t buy them a good attitude.
- Money most definitely won’t buy them joy.
These things I just mentioned are things that they need to choose.
What Money Can’t Buy
- Happiness, Joy, Contentment
- We have discussed this subject in multiple episodes, such as 133 (Can Money Buy Happiness?) and 065 (Happiness vs Joy). Our conclusion is the same. Money cannot buy any of these things, lasting happiness, joy and/or contentment! Money can help purchase a temporary smile, but lasting happiness cannot happen with money.
- “To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:26, NIV84)
- Peace with God (Salvation)
- Trying to purchase “spiritual favors” from God is called Simony. This is where we get this idea/concept in the Bible…
- “When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:18–20, NIV84)
- We know, according to the Word of God that, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9, NIV84) Salvation and/or peace with God cannot be bought or earned. It is a gift from God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
- To an extent, money can buy a security team. But can money buy true security? No! It can’t. Money can’t fully protect you from the consequences of living in a fallen world. In the Bible, we are reminded that true security comes from trusting in God rather than relying on our wealth or possessions. In Psalm 49:5-7, it says, “Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me— those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him” (Psalm 49:5–7, NIV84). This passage emphasizes that no amount of money can save us from the trials and tribulations of life, provide security and/or secure our eternal salvation.
- Furthermore, Jesus himself taught that storing up treasures on earth is not the key to security. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21, NIV84). While money can provide temporary comfort and security, true and lasting security can only be found in placing our trust in God.
- Wisdom & Common Sense
- The Scriptures teach that wisdom and common sense cannot be bought with money. In Proverbs 16:16, it says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding (common sense) rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16, NIV84). Here we see the writer of the proverb showing a contrast between precious metals and wisdom/understanding. Clearly the value of wisdom is far greater than that of material wealth. There is no price that can be put on wisdom.
- James 1:5, it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV84). This verse states that the acquisition of wisdom comes through asking for it from God, and receiving it from His generous outpouring and blessing. I have yet to see a PayPal, Venmo or Bitcoin account to be able to send money to God in return for a deposit of wisdom and common sense into our hearts and minds. This is something that God gives to His children that ask for it!
- No amount of money can reverse a diagnosis. No amount of money can bring you back to full and complete health that you once had in your youth. Health issues are part of getting older. Aging is a part of this journey here on earth! But, there is a well known verse that speaks to health. Proverbs 3:7-8 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7–8, NIV84). Here is a prescription from the Word of God about bringing health to our bodies, and know that it does not have anything to do with money, wealth, and assets! It speaks exclusively to having a healthy fear of the Lord, who is the one that gives health strength…
- God sees time differently than what we do today. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV84). Our days here are numbered by God. Only He knows the day, hour and second that we will be with Him in glory!
- Money can buy you time, in that you can pay someone to do something for you, therefore, creating time for you. But you can’t use money to buy more time with your loved ones, especially with your kids in their early years. Because of that, it is important that we do not waste away our days, hours and minutes!
- Respect, Trust, & Character
- One cannot purchase respect, trust, or character! Yet, someone can earn trust easier by having a certain standard of living. Though many have tried without success, it is important to know that money can’t fix a breach of trust. If you cheated on your spouse, money can’t undo your sin. Money can’t buy you a new, or renewed character. You are only one choice away from blowing your integrity and earthly reputation.
- Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.”
- Inner peace
- The drive for “one more dollar” as what Rockefeller said many years ago, is still, and even more so the drive that people have today. Many will risk all health, family, time, friends to gain that one more dollar in which they believe will bring about a “calming” of the person’s life and even soul! How untrue that is! For, that is what the Scriptures say, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NIV84). A driven person usually does not have inner peace.
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27, NIV84). The only way to have true peace is through the gift of peace that Christ is offering through this passage! Jesus says it is “given” to us, and it is afforded to all that trust in Him and His finished work on the cross! Jesus also states that what He gives is very different from what the world gives. Everything that the world gives us temporary. But what Jesus offers is eternal! It is a peace you cannot purchase, but one that is given by God.
- It’s easy (especially in our industry) to get so focused on money and accumulating wealth that we lose focus on what is truly important in life. We acknowledge that money is necessary in our world, but how much weight should we put into gaining more? Money can be a valuable tool to help us accomplish the things we want to do in life, but it only serves a heavenly purpose if we have an eternal mindset. Our approach to using God’s wealth is something we cannot purchase. We must learn from God’s Word and discipline ourselves to have wise stewardship mindsets and habits that will help propel us to a better use of money!
- As preacher W. A. Criswell once said, “Money will buy luxuries, but it will not buy spiritual power. Money will buy…favor and accolades, but it will not buy soul respect. Money will buy advancement and preferment, but it will not buy the recognition of God.”
- SO, WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF MONEY?
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