Money, money, money
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6.10
I caught the end of a report on the Women's Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie this morning. The competitors were ecstatic according to the breathless reporter. Why? At the thrill of competing? The standard of the course? No, because £600k of prize money was up for grabs. Not anywhere near what their male counterparts enjoy but a step in the right direction... Or is it?
When everything is measured in financial terms we all become poorer, because we lose our appreciation for the real value which underlies the price tag. Money is useful - as a metaphor for the goods and services we need to exchange for a comfortable life. Yet therein lies its seductive, sinister side. Acquiring more than we need is tantamount to hoarding stockpiles of the very same goods and services that others require just as much as we do. As the cliche reminds us: "There is enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed."
Whenever we find ourselves coveting something, we should ask ourselves: Is it reasonable for all 7.8 billion people alive today to have one too? If not and unless there are good reasons to believe that our need is exceptional we should resist. Because there are more worthwhile alternatives! The world has a limitless capacity for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." In his letter to the church in Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote: "There is no law (ie no limit) against these things." Jesus exhibited each while eschewing world wealth. So which path should those aspiring to follow him take?