Others may feel differently. But for someone studying personal finance & investing like me who also would like to transfer the right knowledge and values to #2daughters, I find the story of the the rich man who consulted the Savior, very disturbing! It’s as if I’m in a dead-end, staring at a brick wall seeing some writing on the wall (like the image above). It seemed like all stuff I am discovering up to now will eventually end up useless!
What?! Sell my possessions and give the money to the poor?! Perhaps everyone, whether rich or poor at this very moment, will do the exact same thing the rich man did. He went away, was sad and grieved for he had great possessions. Honestly? I think even the poor would do that.
I do. I don’t have great possessions yet. And with very little resources, I would question, why should I give to others when what I have is not even enough for me? I can not give what I don’t have! Hello?! In case I sell whatever I have, I’d rather use the proceeds which will definitely be insufficient still. Ako muna bago sila! (Me first before them!). Isn’t that how people, by nature, misbehave?
Thankfully, I found this sensible note I can agree with. It reads:
“What does your money mean to you? Although Jesus wanted this man to sell everything and give his money to the poor, this does not mean that all believers should sell all their possessions. Most of his followers did not sell everything, although they used their possessions to serve others. Instead, this story shows us that we must not let anything we have or desire keep us from following Jesus. We must remove all barriers to serving him fully. If Jesus asked, could you give up your house? Your car? Your level of income? Your position on the ladder of promotion? Your reaction may show your attitude toward money-whether it is your servant or your master.”
(Above commentary is from the Life Application Study Bible, page 1436; published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
Therefore, having possessions and having the money or the lack of them is not the issue. Being rich or poor is not the issue. My attitude is the issue. Your attitude is the issue. No matter which strata you are in, in this society and generation, right now, while you’re reading up to this paragraph.
This, I think, is the reason why there’s a saying “money is the acid-test of character” (credit to whoever said that). I once heard Francis Kong in a TV interview said that “money problem is an attitude problem.” Often because people misplace money in their lives. Money should always be a servant, and never a master, of our lives. May God help me to always keep that top-of-the-mind awareness.
Postscript 1/2: You can read the whole story of this rich man who was so attached to his great possessions in the link below:
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Mark 10:21 NLT (http://bible.com/116/mrk.10.21.NLT )
PostScript 2/2: Incidentally, I am part of a community that teaches that the ultimate purpose of wealth/money is to love and serve others. See for yourself if you fit, click this now!