Something More Vital Than Money
“Our incentive system to this day is built almost wholly around monetary rewards.”—Psychology Today.
NANCY and Howard had big plans after they married in 1989. They wanted a house, a baby, new cars, and an exotic vacation. They had the income to afford it. But suddenly both found themselves unemployed. The money saved for the down payment on a house had to be used for rent.
Nervous about the future, they had to postpone all their plans—including that of starting a family. “Five years from now,” said Nancy, “I don’t think we’ll be back up to where we were. All that’s gone, and I don’t know if it will ever come back.”
How well this illustrates the devastating effect of losing a job! But it also exposes the illusory power of money. What is here today can be gone tomorrow. As the Bible realistically warns: “Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle.”—Proverbs 23:5, Today’s English Version.
Accepting the transitory nature of money is easier said than done. “Money is the universal measure,” notes Psychology Today regarding common attitudes toward money. “We keep score by it, often even to ourselves.” The obsession with acquiring money has led even the well-off to chronic anxiety, depression, and other ills that have been humorously grouped under the catchy name affluenza.
The Importance of Wisdom
But there is something more vital than money. The Bible identifies it at Ecclesiastes 7:12: “Wisdom is for a protection the same as money is for a protection.” Then the verse adds a fact about wisdom that shows it to be superior to money: “Wisdom itself preserves alive its owners.”
Wisdom includes the ability to exercise sound judgment when we are confronted with challenging circumstances. When we are faced with job loss, sound judgment should tell us that life’s true value is not measured in dollars and cents. Sound judgment will also help us to keep our priorities straight, in focus.
What Are Your Priorities?
What do you put first in life? Is your job worth more than your marriage? Is your home worth more than your children? Is money worth more than your health? Each day we make decisions based on our incentive system, our priorities. When faced with financial problems, such priorities will dictate our course of action. What are your priorities centered on?
Jesus Christ said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) Note that Jesus showed that spirituality is a need, a priority, not just a background quality to pursue when everything else in one’s life is stable.
It is a challenge to give that spiritual need priority while under pressure to provide for one’s family materially. Yet, those who do so are, as Jesus said, happy. While concerned about making ends meet, they are relatively free of the “untold agonies of mind” one experiences when putting money first. (1 Timothy 6:10, Phillips) Such ones also find comfort in the words of David as recorded at Psalm 37:25: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.”
Satisfy Your Spiritual Need
Man’s spiritual need is inborn. He needs more than food, clothing, and shelter. Spirituality goes further, addressing such questions as, ‘Why am I here?’ and, ‘Where is this world—and my life—heading?’
Fear of an “economic apocalypse” has prompted many to sense their spiritual need. Newsweek reports: “Sales of prophetic books—ones that interpret current events as Biblical signs of the end of the world—are up 50 to 70 percent over last year.” However, to satisfy that spiritual need, one must search for accurate knowledge, not mere human speculation.
We invite you to investigate God’s Word, the Holy Bible. It contains practical wisdom to help you cope with life’s anxieties. More than that, the Bible can give you accurate knowledge of the meaning behind today’s “critical times hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1) By writing the publishers of this magazine, a free home Bible study can be arranged. Now more than ever is the time to seek the practical wisdom for the present—and accurate knowledge of the future—from God’s Word, the Bible.
[Picture on page 9]
Spiritual values are to be treasured