"He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity." Ecclesiastes 5:10
Money and wealth are a necessary part of human existence; they are the exchange agent in all economies. In ancient times, it was livestock or land. Today, it can be cash or stocks or real estate investments. Essentially, money and wealth are identified not so much by what they are, but by what they represent.
Many people simply think of money as the green notes they hand you at the bank when you make a deposit. But it is so much more. Money and wealth can represent many things, and when you reduce money to its most basic form, it is value.
Understood this way, we realize money is not numbers on a bank statement, or a roll of bills tucked in a drawer, or a piece of paper with the words "Grant Deed". Money and wealth are all the values those things represent.
The value of money empowers one central, primary condition: security. With money we feel secure, protected from hunger, cold and heat, and lack of control. Every other benefit of money seems to flow from that one state of security. And security should bring satisfaction. Should...
It's no secret that the world is reeling from its dissatisfaction. Billions and billions of every currency is made, exchanged, and made again daily. Countless millions have far more than they need. Far more. And often the richest people are the ones with the greatest sense of unhappiness.
Why does it seem no one is content?
One of the chilling vanities we find in this life is this: nothing on which we set our hopes to achieve happiness or contentment will bring that condition we hope for. If we love security, we will feel insecure. If we love power, we will feel powerless. If we love influence, we will feel insignificant.
The obsession to gain money and wealth is a perfect illustration of this truth. The important issue here is the word LOVE. It is what we love that affects our satisfaction! Yes, money can bring happiness. Yes, influence can bring satisfaction. Yes, achievement can bring contentment. But how? How not?
Not when we LOVE THOSE THINGS. You see, setting our deepest affection upon anything, any condition, any situation, will ultimately let us down. And this is clearly why Solomon implored us not to foolishly seek those things above all else. Instead, he told us to love God above all else, and then everything fulfills as it was designed to fulfill.
The issue has never been money and wealth or any other thing we can gain. The issue has always been this:
Whatever we love more than God will ultimately bring dissatisfaction.
It's really not that complicated. I mean, think about it. How to be miserable? Easy. Love things - money, power, influence, pride, achievement, etc... more than God.
How to be happy? Love God more than anything. And how to do that? Put His laws and desires above our own natural desires. The absolute, sure-fire result is peace, security, happiness, fulfillment, and contentment.
And one more question... what does loving God more than anything really look like? Well, that is another post for another day, but for now, we can start by reading His Word. For in the Bible, He tells us exactly what He desires for our life, and
It is Tremendously Satisfying!