This morning I happened to catch a few minutes of a talk show.
One of the guests was a successful movie director. His movies have made billions and soon his lifestyle reflected his increased wealth. He had “made it” according to the world’s standards.
On the day he finally moved into his magnificent Beverly Hills mansion, a funny thing happened. The movers left and he found himself alone in his massive foyer.
Instead of feeling fulfilled and at peace, he felt empty.
He had always thought that if he obtained success in his field that he would be “there”…that he would have finally arrived in that magical place where all was well. However, he soon realized that there is no “there.”
Following this epiphany, he experienced a health crisis and he asked himself, “If this is my last chapter what do I want to say before I go?”
He began to simplify his life. He sold his mansion and moved to a smaller home . He began to give to those in need and came to this realization: “As I emptied myself, I found myself more full.”
I have no idea what this man’s spiritual beliefs are, but what he said is very biblical. (Acts 20:35).
Money does not have the power to satisfy a soul.
Case in point: in recent years, we have witnessed celebrity after celebrity meet untimely deaths due to drug overdoses.
Currently, the country is witnessing the tragic and sad meltdown of the highest paid actor on television.
The wealthiest man the world has ever known said the following:
* “He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income, so what is the advantage of wealth–except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers!…The rich…worry and suffer insomnia.”
* “I said to myself,’Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full!’…Anything I wanted, I took and did not restrain myself from any joy…but as I looked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind.”
This man’s name was King Solomon and those quotes can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes.
As the above verses indicated, he indulged in every single thing money could buy…and much like that director found only deep and raw emptiness.
So, what did he ultimately conclude?
“Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the entire duty of man.” –Ecclesiastes 12:13. (note: the word fear in this verse means: “reverence, to stand in awe, honor, respect.”).
It all comes back to our Creator.
We were created by Him and for Him. Nothing on this earth…including money…can ever fully satisfy us. We will always want more. That is human nature. But the only thing we can crave more of and not have it ultimately destroy us is Christ: “Our God is an inexhaustible reservoir of infinitely satisfying spiritual delights. God will never lack for what will fascinate and intrigue and enthrall you. You will never devote yourself to understanding God and one day say, ‘Well, that’s all there is.’ No. There’s always more! “–Sam Storms, Pleasures Evermore
When you belong to Christ, you have everything. You possess all you will ever need because He is the Source of all things. He alone is your inexhaustible supply! (see I Chronicles 29:11 and Philippians 4:19).
That knowledge leaves you free to hold loosely to your wealth…to give freely and joyfully..so that your wealth does not have an unhealthy hold on you. I have firsthand knowledge of this and will continue the story in the next post.
“Money never made any man happy yet; nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”–Benjamin Franklin