Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Money Isn’t Everything

I was recently impressed by a couple of news article I found online.  In the first news article Karl Rabeder decided to give away his entire fortune and live a common ordinary life.  He has decided to give away every penny to charity and he will not even take a salary of any kind.  Karl grew up poor and he always thought money would bring him happiness, but now that he has money he has realized that this is not the key to happiness.  Here is what he said about his wealth.

“For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness, I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years.  More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life.’  I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.  I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing.”

It is unusual to find someone like Karl, someone who has everything and is willing to give it away, because they understand it is not important.  In fact, wealth often acts as a barrier to the things that are important in our lives.  Although most people will think Karl is crazy for giving away his money, he envisions a simpler and more meaningful life for himself without it.

Not only is happiness not found in material things, but we can destroy our lives by pursuing them.  What is scary is that our culture teaches us that this is what is important.  Our culture lifts up people who have not achieved anything or done anything of any great significance.  Our culture gives voices to people who do not seek to better our society in any way.  Our culture values fame and wealth more than anything else, and people will compromise their values to achieve them.  As people who care about the future we must reject these ideals.  As people who are concerned about the next generation we must strive for something better.  As Christians we must show our culture a better way.

A second new article appeared this week.  It was about an elderly woman, Grace Groner, who passed away and left behind 7 million dollars to a university.  The surprising thing about this donation was that no one knew she was a millionaire.  She never married.  She worked as a secretary for years. She lived in a tiny house, that some have called a cottage.  Grace’s attorney said this about her, “She enjoyed other people, and every friend she had was a friend for who she was. They weren’t friends for what she had.”

As a society we place so much value on money that we automatically think someone is more important, because they have money.  Our politicians are usually people of great means.  If someone has money they are heard before the person without money.  It is refreshing to learn of someone who had millions, but lived her entire life not allowing this to impact the way people saw her.  If we are going to be a great society we cannot allow money to influence our judgment.  If we are going to be the Christians God wants us to be, then we must see past money.

House of Gold
By Hank Williams

People steal, they cheat and lie
For wealth and what it will buy
Don’t they know on the judgment day
That their gold and silver will melt away

I’d rather be in a deep, dark grave
And know that my poor soul was saved
Than to live in this world in a house of gold
And deny my God and doom my soul

Satisfied Mind
By Jack Rhodes and Red Hayes

How many times have you heard someone say,
“If I had his money I’d do things my way.”
But little they know that it’s so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.

Once I was winning in fortune and fame;
Everything that I dreamed for to get a start in life’s game.
But suddenly it happened, I lost every dime,
But I’m richer by far with a satisfied mind.

Money can’t buy back your youth when your old
Or a friend when your lonely or a love that’s grown cold;
The wealthiest person is a pauper at times
Compared to the man with a satisfied mind.

When life has ended, my time has run out,
My friends and my loved ones I’ll leave, there’s no doubt.
But one thing for certain, when it comes my time,
I’ll leave this old world, with a satisfied mind.

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