The problem with wealth

By Randell Tiongson on September 10th, 2012

I have always been an advocate of proper money management and financial planning. I’ve written hundreds of articles & blogs about it and have spoken in hundreds of seminar reminding people to manage their money properly and achieve financial freedom. In fact, sometimes I find myself like a ‘sirang-plaka’ because I say the same things over and over again. The financial education of many Filipinos though improving is still far from ideal and many of our brothers are misguided with regards to handling money.

But that’s not what I am writing about this time. While they are definitely a small minority in this nation, some have gone the opposite route when it comes to money and have amassed a sizable fortune in their lifetime. There are quite a number of people who have embraced money as if it is the answer to all their questions in life and that money is the end goal. Money being a source of true joy is wishful thinking as wealth is insatiable – many will not achieve satisfaction until they are consumed by the quest for wealth. My friend Jayson Lo often says that “the best financial principle is contentment” and I say amen!

Money is important, there is no denying that – in fact Zig Ziglar once said that “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” Money is a tool that allows one to get the best in life and it is a powerful tool in being a blessing to others. In a TV appearance at ANC’s On The Money, I told Edric Mendoza (the host) that ‘money is just money’ – it’s what you do with money that really counts. While financial responsibility is definitely a given and we need to save and invest to secure our future, we need to be mindful that ‘money is just money’ and not the end goal. It is sad to see a lot of wealthy people who become so attached to their wealth that they are forgetting to be generous; the ability to be a blessing is a privilege that the Lord has bestowed upon us. I now realize that the ability to create wealth and wealth in itself is something that comes from the Lord himself and while I believe God wants to bless us, He also has a purpose for the wealth He allows us to have.

During a recent discussion at a small group with one of my mentors, Atty. Banjo Navarro – he cautioned us that money is a very powerful idol that can keep us away from establishing a real relationship with God. He said that it is very hard to call yourself a real believer of Christ if you have issues of parting with your wealth. A believer who religiously goes to church and even one who tithes can be so enamoured with his money that he can’t help others even if he was given an opportunity to do so – and totally forgetting the teachings of Jesus himself.

A good reminder to all of us can be found in the book of life (as always):

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” – Luke 12:16-21, NLT

Like anything in life, it’s all about the balance. Don’t take money for granted but don’t make money your everything. True wealth can only be found in our relationship with Christ.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Luke 12:34, NIV

Catch me at No Nonsense Seminar on Finance: How to Invest for the Future, presented by Sun Life Prosperity Funds. It’s my investment seminar and it will be held on Sept. 22, 2012 at the Legend Villas, Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City. For inquiries, send email to [email protected] Details HERE

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5 thoughts on “The problem with wealth”

  • I also believe in this quote “Money doesn’t change who you are, it just magnifies your personality.”. Having money doesnt make us a better person but again on how we use it. It’s how we have planned and worked on it. Some would have lots of money but due to so much attachment to it they become less generous or sometimes greed. Whereas someone wont have much of it but he choose to share so in the event he could have acquired some wealth the more he will share it.

  • I always feel blessed whenever I read you articles sir randell. Thank you for being God’s instrument of pouring His wisdom. God bless you.

  • Great words (pastor?) 🙂

    Surely, balance is the key. You nailed it.

    In my personal observation, it seems that most people are more aware of the “evilness” or “negativity” that money can do rather than the “goodness” and “blessings” it can give them and their families.

    And I should say this is rampant in Christian country like ours. I know because I’m a Christian and in a business serving Christians.

    People are more aware of verses like “(love of) money is the root of all evil” or “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.”

    No wonder majority is struggling to make more or to keep what they have.

    Anyways, thanks for a great reminder.

  • Anyone in love with money may not (although he or she may think otherwise) have a relationship with God.
    In fact, we cannot serve God and Money!
    But I know some filthy rich people who truly love God!

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The problem with wealth