It’s Only Money

Read: Luke 12:13-21
Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own (v.15).

Grigori Perelman won the Millennium Prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute for solving a problem that had stumped mathematicians for a century. When told that the prize came with a $1 million award, Grigori, a reclusive genius who lives with his elderly mother in Russia, said that he would need to think about whether to accept the money.

Grigori may be eccentric, but he’s not crazy. As many lottery winners attest, sudden wealth can be devastating. Even the slow and steady accumulation of wealth can gradually tighten a noose around our lives. For the more we have, the more time and money it takes to care for it. Who is less burdened by possessions—a person who lives in an apartment and rides a bicycle to work or a homeowner with a manicured lawn and enough vehicles to fill his 3-stall garage?

Wise and wealthy, Solomon observed that it’s foolish to presume “that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). The more you have, the more you have to work to keep what you have, but “We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us,” and so we realize that our “hard work is for nothing” (Ecclesiastes 5:15-16).

Jesus said that “life is not measured by how much you own” (Luke 12:15), and Solomon adds that even what you own can interfere with life. It sounds crazy, but Grigori might actually be better off without the money. As long as his basic needs are met, he certainly is no worse.

An opportunity to earn additional income can be a gift from God. But if you simply can’t imagine turning down the money, it may end up merely adding to your financial bondage.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Judges 16:22-31


How much of your energy is spent earning, spending, and tracking money? While this is a necessary part of stewardship, what can you do to keep your financial portfolio in perspective?

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”