Would you ever consider taking a pay cut in your day job if it meant more balance in your life? More time to do the things you enjoy, less stress, or more happiness in general? Or would you rather keep grinding at your current job, suck it up and save for the future? What if money didn’t matter? What route would you take? In this post, I want to explore the question: is money really important?
People have all sorts of ideas about money. Some people think money is everything and their purpose in life is to amass as much wealth as they can ever imagine. To fulfil their life’s purpose, they navigate all their decisions towards that end. They take the highest paying jobs even though it takes everything else away from them. They try to marry a wealthy partner just to increase their earnings, and they are interested in every investment just because it brings more money.
Another group of people consider money to be evil, and see all wealthy people as bad people. They believe wealthy people are the reason for all the problems in the society and they assume money corrupts good manners and incentivises people to become unethical. For this group of people, it’s best to stay off the demands of money in order to live a happy life.
In my opinion, the way to a better life lies between the extremes. The wisest man to have ever lived according to the bible requested, “So give me only as much food as I need. If I have more, I might say that I do not need you. But if I am poor, I might steal and bring disgrace on my God” (Proverbs 30: 8-9). Money in itself is not evil, but the lack and excess of it are what lead to the evil we see. When asked the popular question “can money buy you happiness?” The gut response for many is “definitely not”, but actually it can, if well utilized. Money in itself is not important but what it can do for you is what is really important.
“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greed, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10). The love of money is the root of evil because some people love money more than the good they can do with it. We want quality education, comfortable houses, we want to travel for vacations, eat good food, build beautiful churches, we want to help the needy, support ministries, build hospitals, and have happy families, etc. All these good things require money. While some just want to have money to oppress the poor, gain social status, live a lavish lifestyle, and attract women. So the question is what is your money being used for?
Money isn’t inherently good and it isn’t inherently evil. It has the capability of bringing happiness into your life and it can also bring about a great deal of stress, pain, and suffering. “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry; but money answereth all things” (Ecclesiastes 10:19). The real challenge is to know how to use money to do good in your life and the lives of others.