The story is told of a prosperous, young banker who was driving his new Lexus on a mountain road. There were some icy spots on the highway that day, and as he made a sharp turn, the man lost control of his car, and it began sliding off the road toward a deep precipice. At the last moment, he unbuckled his seat belt, flung open his door, and leaped from the car. The vehicle then tumbled down the ravine and burst into a ball of flames.
Though he had escaped with his life, the man suffered a horrible injury. Somehow his arm had been caught near the hinge of the door as he jumped and had been torn off at the shoulder.
A local farmer driving his pick-up truck was the first person to come upon the accident scene. He quickly parked on the side of the road and ran to see if he could help. He found the young banker standing on the opposite edge of the road, looking down at the car burning in the ravine below.
“My Lexus! My new Lexus!!” the banker moaned, seemingly oblivious to his injury.
The farmer pointed at the man’s shoulder and said, “Son, you’ve got a bigger problem than that car. We’ve got to find your arm. Maybe the doctors can sew it back on!”
The banker looked where his arm had been, paused a moment, and then groaned, “Oh no! My Rolex! My new Rolex!!”
Friends, this story is fictional. Most people would be far more concerned about losing their arm than even the most expensive watch. Yet many folks do indeed place far too high of a value on money or material possessions. Some work very long hours in an effort to make a lot of money even if it costs them their emotional and physical health. Others sacrifice their marriage or close relationships with their children in an effort to attain financial success. Some cut ethical corners and compromise their honesty and integrity in order to obtain more wealth. Most tragically of all, there are people willing to forfeit their own souls in exchange for more money and things.
Now don’t misunderstand. A willingness to work hard is certainly not a bad thing. Nor is there anything inherently evil about making a lot of money and accumulating wealth. My point is that our health, family, moral character, and spiritual well-being are more important than how much money we have or what things we own.
It is important that each of us heed the instructions that God gives us in the Bible concerning money. Here are some of the most important:
- “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
- “You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
- “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul (Matthew 16:26)
- “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:19,20)
May the Lord help us keep our money and things in the proper perspective.
Rev. Dan Erickson
Senior Pastor, Chisholm Baptist Church