Staying TrueOur ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze.
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Having It All
How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (v.10).
New York City is known as “the city that never
sleeps,” and for a time Scott Harrison was partly
to blame. As one of the top nightclub promoters
on the planet, his nocturnal dealings brought him
notoriety, success, and wealth. In addition to his business
proceeds, companies paid him thousands of dollars
to endorse their stuff. But, during a luxury vacation in
Uruguay, something changed. He rediscovered his faith
and, suddenly, “having it all” wasn’t enough.
Scott traveled to Liberia where he witnessed the
problems caused by contaminated water. The result was
charity: water, an organization he founded that has
helped over 1 million Africans.
Many people come to realize that wealth, for its
own benefit, is meaningless. King Solomon knew this,
despite his astounding riches. With an annual income of
more than 25 tons of gold, he owned a fleet of trading
ships that circulated through the seas, bringing back
exotic treasures including ivory, apes, and peacocks
(2 Chronicles 9:13-21). During Solomon’s reign, “silver
[was] as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone” (v.27).
The king’s megabucks didn’t prevent him from
proclaiming a long rant on life in general—with specific
comments about wealth. He said, “How meaningless to
think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes
5:10). What good is wealth, except to watch it slip
through your fingers? Apparently, even the wealthiest people in the world see
that amassing money doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.
We don’t have to own lots of money to seek satisfaction in it. We fall into
the trap of loving money by obsessing over it. Solomon said “those who love
money will never have enough” (v.10). Exchanging a love of money for a
love of people yields a far higher return. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Why is it so difficult to deal with the enticement of wealth? How can you
tell the difference between responsible stewardship and acquiring wealth for
its own sake?
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