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THE PULSE of Prince of Peace

 

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church newsletter.

Member Contributions

How much money does it take

to be happy?

by Walt Hasbach

 

           Have you ever asked yourself the question, “how much money does it really take to be happy?”  I have, and the answer is always the same.  I really don't give money much thought as long as I have my family, we are all healthy, we have enough to eat and a good roof over our heads I am happy.  I guess that is why I don't play the lottery or look to some get rich schemes to satisfy a longing.

            Rockefeller was considered, at one point, the world’s richest man and first ever American billionaire, he is still considered as the richest person in modern history.  When a reporter asked him, “How much money is enough?”  He responded, “Just a little bit more.”  Consider that for a moment and ask, “how much is enough?  I know a few people who have more than they need (in my opinion) and are far less content/happy than I am.  So  why am I writing this? 

            When the Scripture Lesson, Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 was read at Church on 10-17-2021, I wanted to measure myself against what was read and written..  So when I got home that afternoon I began studying the notes for each verse in several Bible translations,  After this study I believe I have my priorities in order and wanted to share my thoughts with you.  As you can see this writing was several months in the making.

            In my opinion our attitude toward money, and the stuff it buys, has little to do with our bank accounts but more to do with our attitude.  Another wealthy man, King Solomon really “hit the nail on the head” when he wrote Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 (NIV):

(10)  Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.  (11)  As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?  (12)  The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.  (13)  I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,  (14)   or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.  (15)  Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart.  They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.  (16)  This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?  (17)  All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.  (18)  This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.  (19)  Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.  (20)  They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

           

            Solomon doesn’t waste time and cuts right to the heart of the matter:  “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. (verse 10).  We know this all too well.  Do you know that the Bible has a lot to say about money.  As a matter of fact, the Bible says more about money than any other single subject.  Jesus Himself talked more about money than heaven and hell,combined.

            It doesn’t matter how much we get or how big that bonus is, if we love money, we will never, be satisfied.  We will never find contentment if we are addicted to money.  Consider this.  We work hard to receive/earn money and we’ll never be able to hang on to it.  Money is probably the most recycled resource on the planet.  What is ours today belonged to someone else at some point in the past, and what is ours today will one day belong to someone else. In the future  It’s not stopping with us!  Whether it’s used to pay state taxes, pay the IRS,  pay bills, paying an unexpected expense, or even paying for our own death, we will not be keeping the money we worked so hard to accumulate.

The wealth we have—great or small—is a gift from God not a god to be worshiped (verse19).

             Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin 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, NIV).  Jesus is saying the best ways to break free of the  money addiction is to make eternal investments.

             Jesus commands us to consider the eternity of our souls rather than chasing after stuff.  In Mark 8:36 (NIV):  “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”  Let’s worship the God who gives us all the financial gifts we require and worship the Creator and not the created.