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How Much Money Does It Take to be Rich?

November 9, 2020

The little girl was sitting in her grandfather’s lap as he read her a goodnight story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up and touch his wrinkled cheek. She would alternately stroke her cheek and then his.

Finally, she spoke, “Granddaddy, did God make you?” “Yes, Sweetheart,” he answered, “God made me a long time ago.” Then, “Granddaddy, did God make me too?” “Yes, Honey,” he assured her. “God made you just a little while ago.”

“Oh,” she said. Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, “God’s getting better at it now, isn’t He?” As a grandfather or ‘Opa’ these days, that story is a little too close for comfort.

However, there is something I'm not sure is getting any better these days. We human beings still struggle with loving money. And we battle with when and how to spend money if we get it. And we are concerned about the effects the lack of money has on other people. That is pertinent to many people because of effects the COVID virus has had on our economy.

Here are a few sayings about money from which I thought we could glean some wisdom and maybe a laugh or two. These quotes are not my quotes. All are easily accessible on the internet.

“No one is going to say at your funeral, ‘She had an expensive couch and great shoes.’ Life’s not about stuff.”

“If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall. Money can’t buy health, happiness, or what it did last year.”

“A 'credit bureau' is an organization that turns down as a 'poor risk,' a man who has paid cash for everything and has never owed a penny in his life.”

“Easy credit is what makes people uneasy later.”

“The fool who’s soon parted from his money is hard to detect among the rest of us who are having the same problem.”

“Many folks think they aren’t good at earning money when what they don’t know is how to use it.”

“I may not be outstanding, but my bills are.”

“I’m not stingy – I merely have low pockets and short arms.”

“I have not observed men’s honesty to increase with their riches.”

“Recession: When the man next door loses his job. Depression: When you lose your job. Panic: When your wife loses her job.”

“If you lend someone $20.00 and never see them again, it was probably worth it.”

Years ago, I heard Pastor Dan Steffen of Pure Heart Church in Glendale, Arizona, talk about money. He had some great thoughts that I think could help us all. I’ll add a few thoughts about money also.

How much money does it take to be rich? If you won the lottery, how much would you need to be rich? How much money would you need to secure your future against all imaginable eventualities? The answer for most would be more than they currently have. Even “wealthy” people often live in denial. Why? Because the more a person has, the more he or she wants. That’s called accumulation. People love to upgrade, and for most, there will never be enough upgrades.

Money doesn’t change people. Money unmasks people. Money reveals where people have placed their hope. Please don’t let your hope, identity, desires, and happiness be dependant on money. That's not wise. If you have limited wisdom about money, money is a problem. As income goes up, so does spending. That’s true of any person, business, church, or government. Money is high octane fuel. Use but use wisely.

Remember the saying by the Arizona Lottery, encouraging us to buy a lottery ticket? ‘You can’t win if you don’t play.’ Here's the truth. Your chances of winning most lotteries are somewhere in the area of 32,000,000 to 1. Of course, there is always someone who wins, and they promote that person like crazy. But many a lottery winner after a few years is right back where they started and usually worse. And the other 32,000,000 have less to spend.

God knows our propensity toward greed and accumulation. That is why 2,084 verses in the Bible deal with money. God's advice is not to put your hope in accumulating money. Don't make the treasure your pleasure. Make the Treasurer your pleasure. Don't make 'benefits' your dream. Make the Benefactor your dream. Don't seek the creation, seek the Creator. Why? Money is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

And, by the way, the ‘rich’ is probably you, not ‘them.’

If your total family income including benefits is $45,000 per year, you are in the top one percent of the world. There you go. Now you know somebody rich!

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