I admit it… I don’t know many wealthy people. In fact I had to think quite a while to identify a couple of people that could be called “wealthy” (or “filthy rich”) that I know personally – the kind of people that really have to think about ways to spend all their money. But I did finally come up with a couple of people I know like that.
When I think about them and my acquaintance with them there were a couple of observations I made and conclusions I drew. First of all, their money has not made them any happier or at peace then the rest of us. Facts are, my conversations with them revealed that they have a whole set of problems of their own – some very much like the rest of us, others unique to their situation. Some of their problems you wouldn’t want (probably, some of them you secretly wish you had). Their kids can make terrible decisions and completely embarrass them (or even self-destruct). Their marriages can be unhappy and end in messy divorces. A 4-million dollar home and a couple of Rolls Royces does not spell “happiness,” “fulfillment,” “peace,” or “satisfaction.”
Here’s what Solomon, who many feel wrote Ecclesiastes, had to say about it…
“I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself!” But this also was vanity. I said of pleasure, ‘What use is it?’ … I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards… I made myself gardens and parks, and planted all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the growing trees… I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who been before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines (i.e. mistresses), the delight of the children of man. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure… Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (from Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
Pleasure, stuff, sex, money, and toys do not satisfy the deep needs and desires of the heart. The Lord does! Following Him is “free of charge” but demands everything we are and have. We were made for Him! An old gospel song says, “Only Jesus can satisfy your soul!” Jesus declared, “I am come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) If you don’t have much, but have the Lord… You’re incredibly blessed! If you have a lot of money and don’t have the Lord you are ultimately poverty stricken. If you have a lot of money and are using it for noble means and Kingdom purposes, God bless you and may what your stewardship and generosity accomplishes be deeply satisfying!”