Materialism is a trap – a delusion. We think we “can take it with us” … fact is, we can’t. We think wealth proves we’re wise… but it doesn’t. The only thing that really matters is what endures beyond the grave – eternal values!! In fact, I’ve heard incredibly wealthy people pontificate about things as though they were the fount of wisdom for everything. It appeared as though they felt their wealth had purchased for them a level of influence that should be unquestioned. They exuded confidence and arrogance… I’m not at all sure however, that their views were accurate and truly characterized by wisdom.
I was reminded of that display of arrogance and confidence this morning as I read Psalm 49 in my Bible…
“Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, when the sinful deeds of deceptive men threaten to overwhelm me? They trust in their wealth and boast in their great riches…They name their lands after themselves, but, despite their wealth, people do not last… Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich and his wealth multiplies! For he will take nothing with him when he dies; his wealth will not follow him down into the grave. He pronounces this blessing on himself while he is alive: ‘May men praise you for you have done well for yourself!’ But wealthy people do not understand they are like animals that perish.”
Now there is nothing wrong with being rich – if the rich person lives in the “fear (or reverence) of the Lord and understands their responsibility for the wise management of what God has allowed them to have. Here is what Apostle Paul had to say on that subject: “Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
My prayer today? Lord help me to keep things in proper perspective and understand that true wisdom and lasting influence do not come from wealth – they are instead sourced in humility and “the fear [reverence] of the Lord!”