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The one thing money can’t buy

“Weird Al” Yankovic, in his song “This is the Life”, says this about money: if money can’t buy happiness, then he guesses he’ll have to rent it.

Among other famous people, I’m reminded of the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who recorded a song “Mo Money Mo Problems”. Then there was Shaquille O’Neal, who won three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and just recently was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a 2002 Sports Illustrated interview, O’Neal talked about the stress he deals with, how he’s moody, hates talking on the phone, has a lot of problems and how he has one man watching his money and some other people who watch him. In the midst of this, O’Neal was making more than $10 million a year. O’Neal told the magazine he received phone calls every so often from former teammates, whom he didn’t even know, asking him for money.

Years ago, a minister at my church spoke of a friend who did maintenance work for many celebrities of yesteryear, among them an early icon on television. The friend spent time around them and said he was amazed how unhappy they were despite their vast wealth.

I am reminded of Solomon’s book Ecclesiastes. The Israelite king writes of how he had all the possessions, knowledge, wisdom, knowledge and women he could possibly want, but yet he was completely miserable.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1: “Vanity of vanities…all is vanity.”

In other words, the ultimate emptiness was realizing that all his wealth, possessions, wisdom and knowledge and countless sex partners left him empty.

Even now, as money is very tight for our family and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring in terms of finding employment and paying bills and providing for my family. But I do know if the Lord ever blesses me with finances, the best thing is to have a budget, be content with what you have and ask the Lord to provide ways for you to be a blessing to others who are needy.

And to remember: the money you have is not your money. It’s the Lord’s money, and it’s on loan to you. Be a good steward and seek first the kingdom of God.

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