It was an amusing, if not surreal exchange between two super-rich celebrities, having a very public argument about a financial transaction gone sour. Ordinarily, there would be nothing newsworthy about this story except the transaction involved a collectible sports car, that sold for over $1.5 million dollars. The buyer claimed the car was a fake and could prove it. It was an argument that most of us will never have and one casual observer of the deal wryly noted, “Money can’t buy poverty.”
This famous quip by actor and comedian Marty Feldman underscores the irony of the rich and powerful thinking they can use their wealth to control every situation, skewing their priorities. The uber-rich defend their lifestyles claiming they worked hard to achieve their wealth and status in life and are free to do what they want with their money. They proudly declare that “Money can’t buy everything!” but their lifestyles belie this false humility.
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:19-21 (ESV)
The rich man was confident in his riches and spent his time thinking of ways to secure his great wealth. The Christian believer knows that all money and possessions are from God and belong to Him. Thus, instead of hoarding our money, we are expected to be wise stewards and advance His Kingdom on this earth. God knows that where our treasure is, there will our heart also be (Matthew 6:21). When I look at my checkbook and credit card statements, is my treasure found in supporting efforts to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ or am I a poster child for surreal examples of frivolous living like arguing over outrageously priced sports cars?
I know I do not critically examine my lifestyle or analyze how I utilize the financial resources God has given me with as much urgency as other spiritual areas in my life. In Heaven, I will need to answer God when He painfully shows me how I have failed to properly manage my finances during my lifetime. The Bible provides guidance with other 500 verses concerning the handling of money. Nearly half of the parables that Jesus taught focused on the use of money and possessions. In spite of these many admonitions and teachings, I have fallen many times in this sensitive area and I pray that I will be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guiding and be rich toward God and not to myself.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.