The necessary evil…

In today’s post top his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, pastor Freed took on the topic of worshiping money with this quote – “Make money your god, and it will plague you like the devil.”  (Henry Fielding)

Certainly, we cannot ignore money or the need for it in order to live in the modern world; however, too many turn money from a means to an end into the end itself. The pursuit of more and more money becomes and obsession to those who worship it. I remember scenes of Scrooge McDuck frolicking in his money bins in the Donald Duck cartoons.

Men in particular seem to allow themselves to become obsessed with making more and more money. They start out telling themselves that it is for their family, but somewhere along the way it really becomes and end in itself and not a means to that end. It also becomes a big part of how they identify themselves – a scorecard for their position in life. The sad part is that it does become the thing that they worship.

I’m reminded of the Bible story of the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. When told that he must sell all he possessed and give the money to the poor he wandered off, unable to give up his riches. One assumes that he died and did not go to heaven. Some may say, “I wish I was rich and had to make that decision”, but they don’t really wish that upon themselves, once they think about it.

Most of us spend time worrying about money – whether we will have enough to pay the bills or feed the family and pay the rent. Few of us really worship money or obsess about the accumulation of great wealth. Truly happy people are satisfied when they have enough money to meet their basic needs, so that they can focus upon what is important in life – the relationships that they have with loved ones and friends and their relationship with God.

So, yes, money is important as a means to the end of living a happy life, but it is not so important that one should worship (obsess over) it. Maybe instead of praying that God give you more money, one would be better served by praying that God help you find a way to be happier with the money that you have. That happiness is based not on possessions, but on the love in the relationships that you have.

Maybe the lyrics to the Bobby McFerrin song should be slightly modified to read “Don’t worry (about money), be happy.

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