|I have yet to find a person who will sincerely say that he does not want to be wealthy. While there may be those who claim they prefer not to be wealthy, I really doubt that they really meant what they say.
Being in this line of profession, I’ve met a lot of wealthy people. I’d like to believe that many of them seem happy, although some aren’t. I also noticed that it is not the level of wealth that dictates their level of happiness. Why is this so? This got me wondering and prompted me to write about it in this column.
I recently read the book Till Debt Do Us Part by Chinkee Tan. I hope my friend will not mind if I take out a few words from his wonderful book (I highly recommend the readers getting a copy of this book).
“Wealth gives people a sense of security. The philosophy behind it is the more money you have, the more secure your future will be. That life will be easier and be more stress-free because you don’t have to worry about money and the things that money can buy.”
When you read Chinkee’s words, it really sounds logical. How many times have we worried about money? How many times have we been so stressed because of our need for money? If you are like me, that’s a lot of times. However, Chinkee disproves this philosophy.
“Actually, this is a myth. This myth takes many forms. Usually, it takes the form of ‘If I only had a newer car, if I only had a larger house, if I only had another few millions per year, if I only had a new phone, if I only had some better clothes, if I only had a better education.’”
If the purpose of wealth is that it gives you a false sense of security, you will never have real peace of mind.
Wealth is important not because of wealth, per se. Wealth becomes important because of the purpose of wealth itself. It is why we need to be wealthy that really gives it true importance.
For some, wealth is associated with something evil. Many people find power with wealth. There is even a common saying that money is the root of all evil. Majority of crimes being perpetuated are due to the need to accumulate or the need for money.
Well, money is also needed to survive. Even primitive civilizations saw the need to use money for many things. Yet, money and wealth seem to have always had a bad reputation.
Is accumulation of wealth really a bad thing? If you look at the Bible in Matthew 19:24, it is written: “Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
If you take this verse to heart, you will never want to be wealthy. I am not a theologian, I’m not even religious… but I think what was really meant in that verse is about our real purpose of acquiring wealth. If the accumulation of wealth is something that consumes you, then maybe wealth can be considered as evil.
In my opinion, wealth and money are amoral. It is neither right nor wrong. Just like a knife—in the hands of a chef, it is a good tool, but in the hands of a criminal, it is a bad tool.
Besides, money being the root of all evil has often been misquoted. The correct verse is found in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves.”
The wealthy people who seemed to be genuinely happy are those who are not consumed in their quest to accumulate their wealth. The wealthy people who seem unhappy despite their wealth are those that are consumed by money—finding happiness in what their wealth can afford them. Wealthy people aren’t really bad people, even our Lord Jesus Christ had wealthy friends like Nicodemus.
Being wealthy is important. We need the peace of mind. We need to provide for our family. We need to have enough so we can share. For us to give, we need extra. For us to have extra, we must provide more than our needs. Having more than our needs is having wealth. Having wealth allows us to live the life we deserve, a victorious life that each one of us should be enjoying.
I sincerely doubt that God wanted us to live a life of hardship and a life of mediocrity. In fact, if you read Deuteronomy 15:4, it says, “However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, He will richly bless you.”
So what I am saying is, wealth is not bad. In fact, it is important. How we acquire our wealth and what we do with it will speak about our character—it will define who we really are.
How does one become wealthy? Well, that would be a nice topic for another day, but here’s some basic tips that I am sure you’ve heard or read already: spend less than what you earn; be disciplined in your financial management; invest, invest, invest; take risks (calculated ones)—and, most important, follow simple common sense in dealing with your finances.
There are a lot of folks out there who’d settle for a 2-percent per annum placement but will not think twice about buying something through his/her credit card and use the deferred option that charges five to eight times more than his/her savings placement—or worse, use the revolving scheme of his/her credit card that will be charging more than 15 times his/her placement’s yield!
Be wealthy, but do it for the right reasons. If we have the resolve, many of us can be wealthy. All we need is the right attitude, the passion and, most important, the time. Did you know we are destined to be wealthy? Don’t doubt my words. Pick up the Book and read Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper for you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Enjoy your quest for wealth; it really is important.