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Feather's Miscellany: Wealth

...We are all blinded – and tempted by – wealth and the urge to amass it. The media assesses everyone by it and constantly rams it down our throats. They would have it that those who have nothing are nothing, not worth bothering with. How wrong they are!...

John Waddington-Feather offers sound advice in a greedy age.

In a world where men and women are measured by their wealth, it might be as well for Christians to point out that we measure folk by their talents and capacity for doing good. Yes, do-gooders!

We judge people not by how much they own or what power they have, but by what they are. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man illustrates how God values people. The rich man, who has looked after only his own wants and indulged himself with his riches, goes to hell. The beggar Lazarus who begged at his gate and was spurned by him goes to heaven.

We are all blinded – and tempted by – wealth and the urge to amass it. The media assesses everyone by it and constantly rams it down our throats. They would have it that those who have nothing are nothing, not worth bothering with. How wrong they are!

“Money talks” may be true. Money may bring you prestige, worldly honours, power. But it won’t buy you Christ or the peace and wisdom he brings. Nor can it buy you real power, the power of the Holy Spirit.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven,” said Christ.

“Then who shall be saved?” asked his hearers.

“What is impossible with men is possible with God,” answered our Lord.

In other words, a wealthy man is esteemed in God’s eyes only if he is a Godly man and uses his wealth wisely to help others in need of it.

It seems to me it is even harder for a wealthy man or woman to be Godly when wealth is suddenly thrust on them and they’d had no preparation to use it wisely. Too often we see wealth earned overnight by glitzy means; when ‘celebrities’ are raised by their fans to the status of gods, be they singers, sportsmen, models, politicians or whatever.

At the root of idol-worship is money and the love of money is the root of all evil, says St Paul. It corrupts at every level and it blinds people to the real values of life and their real selves. Every individual has God-given talents quickened by the Holy Spirit if he is allowed to work upon them. It is the Spirit who enables people to create beauty and love in the world; to work throughout their lives at the ideals God laid down from the start and which Christ re-iterated through his teaching. It is love of wealth which deflects people from those ideals and ultimately destroys God’s handiwork in themselves and in the world about them.

John Waddington-Feather ©.

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