Being wealthy without greed
IN avoiding addictive substances which way do you go? Is it cocaine, filthy lucre or marijuana? Perhaps you should avoid hashish, heroine or steroids. TO know the world’s most addictive substance, it depends who you talk to. But if you were to ask God, you would be surprised at His answer. I do not believe God would identify any of those addictive substances in your mind. Instead of hashish God would probably say cash. Jehovah would tell you that the world’s most addictive substance is money. It is one of the scriptures most discussed subjects, the love of which is the root of all kinds of evil.
I am sure money is the globe’s most addictive substance. In itself money isn’t bad. But it can become addictive. It has been the cause of war, death, divorce and all sorts of other nasty things. Yet Yahweh tells us that money is a gift from Him. As such it is vital that we learn to handle and view money through God’s viewpoint.
God’s advice concerning cash is found in the Bible book of Timothy 6:5-10. Tearing these verses into pieces gains you important morsels of truth that teach us how to view money to maximum benefit, to use it in the way God intends. If you digest these verses, they will change your life, free you from greed, addiction to money and enable you to remain focused on the stuff of life that really counts.
Having a proper view of money is viewing money as a blessing instead of a right. In the passage from Timothy, it reads: These people think religion is supposed to make you rich, in verse 5. Here God reminds us that we have no guarantee of money just because we worship God. But not everybody is going to accept that. Some feel that God owes them health, wealth and prosperity – just because they are following Him. It would have been nice if it works that way. But it doesn’t.
Contrariwise, the passage reminds us that earthly wealth isn’t our paycheque for serving Jehovah. Which was why many have died throughout history in penury while with God. God only promised us contentment. However, it is true that people who live according to God’s financial principles often prosper and rightly so. The more you handle your money God’s way, chances are the richer you will be. In fact the best fundraising tool for any cause is to teach people to be good managers of their own money. Missionaries have found that when people submit to God and His principles, they will move up at least one social and economic ladder. They say – God’s principles make dollars.
The second part of having a proper view on money is to view money as something that is temporary instead of something that is eternal. “We didn’t bring anything into this world, and we won’t take anything with us when we leave,” Timothy 6:7. Here we are warned that we cannot take material things with us when we die. This goes to show that money is only a temporary gift from God to get us through life.
The best way to remind oneself that money isn’t worth much attention is to become a giver. By giving to people who are in need, giving to worthy causes and giving to God, we keep greed in check.
The third lesson is to view money positively but not fall in love with it. I know this is difficult to do seeing how much you can achieve with money. In Nigeria of today with money you can buy respect, university degrees or any fancied partner. Which is why we worship money and money-bags nowadays. But over-employment of our material things tempts us into sin. When you succumb to the temptation to love money, you get wrapped up with foolish and harmful desires that will destroy you.
Take gambling for instance, it is one of the foolish things a person can do. Yet, it has become one of the popular forms of entertainment being the motive behind the British Premier League Annual Tournament. Moreover, people believe they have good chances to win lotteries. Their love of money and desire to win overshadows common sense. A reason I advise against gambling is that it tugs at your greed for more and more money until it gets hold of your soul, dragging you away from righteousness and ultimately destroying you spiritually.
Money and of itself isn’t a bad thing. But loving money is wrong. God wants us to view money as a gift from Him to us to use for good purposes. Thus, you are to like money as a favour from God for us to use judiciously for His causes. Which is why religion does not guarantee that you will become rich. However God reminds us that worship in the form of Muslim salat does not secure from Him any material rewards. Rather our faith will pay us spiritual rewards. The riches Allah promised is contentment, not money. The challenge is to be contended, while keeping your paycheque secondary. “So we should be satisfied just to have good and clothes,” Timothy 6:8. IT is lunacy to compare yourself to others. Of all the famous people in history, few were famous for their money, many were famous for how they lived: Napoleon for conquering Europe, Lincoln for saving the USA from disintegration and Einstein for discovering the atomic bomb.
Our champion for today is Linus Carl Pauling, the American chemist who applied quantum mechanics in the study of molecular structures and won two Nobel prizes, one for Chemistry in 1954 and another for Peace in 1962. Pauling was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts in the international control of nuclear weapons and his campaign against nuclear testing.
Born in February 1901 in Portland, Oregon, United States, Pauling died in California in 1994. He graduated first class at Oregon State University in 1922, then became graduate assistant in chemical engineering at California Institute of Technology, Pasadema where he took his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1925. For two years he worked with Arnold Sommerfeld in Germany, Niels Bohr in Denmark, Erwin Schrodinger, Germany and Sir William Bragg in Britain. He returned to California as professor of chemistry in 1931. He served as director of Gates Laboratories 1936-58.
Pauling’s work for which he received his first Nobel Prize dealt with aspects of molecular structure, ranging from simple molecules to proteins. He was among the first to apply quantum mechanics to the structure of molecules and he effectively utilized x-ray diffraction. He was successful in relating the distances and angles between chemical bonds. His theory of directed valence was an outgrowth of his early work. His resonance theory came under heavy but unsuccessful attack in the Soviet Union. In 1940, with a German-born biologist Max Delbruck, he developed a concept of molecular complementarity in antigen reactions.
Late in the 40s, he became interested in sickle cell anemia when he learned that red blood corpuscles show their abnormal shape only in venous blood. Following the development of nuclear weapons, Pauling became deeply concerned of the hazards of exposure to radiation. He expressed his views in books leading to his campaign against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In addition to winning two Nobel Prizes, Pauling was widely honoured for his success as a scientist and pacifist alike. He died aged 93.