9–15 August 2015.
Ecclesiastes 5:8–20 (click to read).
Most of us know the challenges of trying to balance our own budgets or organizing the family’s finances. We sit down and discuss what our expenses are for the month or year, and then try to plan out some way to earn enough money to cover those costs. When we do this, it always leads us back to this question: How much money is enough?
Sadly, for some of us that question has no answer. For some, no matter how much money comes in, it will never be enough. No amount of money will stop the desire to have even more. And that’s a terrible situation to be in.
Verse 10 tells us: “The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain.” We bring no money into this world and take no money out of it, yet we spend all our lives trying to earn it!
On the one hand, money doesn’t satisfy because it never really gives us the feeling that we have enough. Expenses grow just as quick as income does, and so we are always pushed to want more and more. On the other hand, with more money comes more worries and stress: worries about how to invest it, how to manage it, and how to protect it from those who want to take it from us.
We think having lots of money will make us happy, that it will satisfy us, but the opposite is true. If we love money, we tie our hopes and desires to it, only to find that we are the ones who have become bound and trapped.
As verses 12 and 13 tell us, people may gain riches, but that’s no guarantee of a joyful life. Instead, people end up hoarding money, afraid to let it go, afraid to share it with those in need, and the result is a life of pain, misery, and fear. Is there a better way?
Jesus tells us not to store up treasures on earth but rather in heaven. We do this by living lives of generosity, and sharing with others in love. So let’s practice being generous this week.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis