Everybody is excited when we tackled riches because it deals with money. The word “rich” is always related to money, but did you know that it doesn’t always have to do with the money? When we say you’re rich in wisdom; rich in serving others; rich in integrity, those don’t necessarily involve or connected with money. Isn’t it? Have you ever pondered about this question: How do we obtain true riches in life?
Here’s the key. If riches has to do with money, why there are things that money can’t buy. You can’t buy integrity, peace, dignity, reputation, wisdom, etc. A person may have a ton of money but has no peace of mind. He can’t sleep properly at night thinking how to safeguard his money or resources. He’s insecure about himself, and at times, need someone to protect him—a bodyguard. Money can’t buy peace. How about integrity? The same thing. You cannot clean up your mess by simply using your money. No matter how you would want to clean your inner self, still cannot be purchased with money. You can’t buy your eternal destiny after you departed from this world. Therefore, it’s getting clearer, that riches couldn’t cover your whole being—for a man was born bare and nothing.
Riches can be a true riches if you have a peace of mind and a peaceful life as well.
Effects of Riches
When a man knows he’s capable of riches, he could be the happiest person. But wait, if riches can make a person happy then why we heard a news that a billionaire committed suicide? Does riches have a bad effect after all? In the first place, riches have a big impact on our lives. The effect is great to the point that a man may mismanage his life in jeopardy. The following are the effects of riches: Power, Fame, Character, Self-love, Respect
- Riches brings you to power. There’s no doubt about it because you can use your riches to manipulate or control people. People of low status will bow to you; some could even worship you. This is the sad truth. As we all know, it’s only God whom to be worshipped. Riches will make you like the Master, while your subordinates or employees will be your slaves. But one thing that power can’t do—it’s the life principle, the dignity, and personality of a person.
- After power, you’ll be famous. It’s the riches that elevates you to be known in your circle or corporate world. People will look at you as an important person and an inspiration to many. They will remember you and follow you like a celebrity person.
- Riches could change a person’s character. It molds a person gradually to transform himself from his former life into a new life of a rich. They tend to look down on people who do not belong to his status and may become a cruel and inconsiderable person. It is hard for them to apply the sayings of “putting yourself in their shoes” because their status of living vs his personality could not reconcile in their thinking that they should humble themselves before them. It is pride that prevented them from doing such thing.
- There’s a song lyric by Whitney Houston says, “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” The truth is loving yourself is not the greatest love because God’s love is devalued. Where will you put now God’s love? the greater love? The effect of riches is to love yourself or what we called “self-love.” There’s no issue if we love ourselves as taking care of ourselves. My point here is loving ourselves because of riches is selfishness. In the Bible, it is clearly emphasized in Matthew 6:24, “No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth (BBE).”
In summary of the effect of riches that was mentioned above, a man may lose self-respect. He could be transformed by his riches yet losing the respect from people around him. You may not agree with me, but once you’ve worked with someone who is higher above your status, you’ll know how losing respect destroys relationship with your boss or colleagues. If we want to be respected, we need to give respect to others.
The saying goes this way, “you will know a person if you worked with him.” That means you have a working relationship to enable knowing each other. Same as wife and husband, brothers and sisters including our parents.
Riches then could not be eternal. If people defined “riches” as money, it will not last long. It is limited. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:28, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf (WEB).” Why would the Bible say that? It is because riches that is material in nature may give you temporary happiness and not an eternal happiness.
Then how do we obtain true riches in life? The Bible stated in Luke 12:21, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (WEB).” There should be a God who is involved in our riches. This is what most people overlooked in their lives. You may tour around the world and ate all kind of food around the world then what’s next? Yet they still unsatisfied with their lives and seemed something is lacking. Well, this is how the Scripture telling us that riches can be a true riches if you have a peace of mind and a peaceful life as well. You cannot have a peace of mind with money, the peace of God should be inside your heart. Money is important because this is how we operate our lives daily. But loving the money is the root of all kinds of evil, this is absolutely true as stated in 1 Timothy 6:10. We all love to acquire riches yet we forgot the true riches of life.
(Main featured photo credited to pasja1000)