*c/o Money (That’s What I Want) by Barrett Strong, 1959.
This article suggests that Australians are the richest people in the world. It reports that the median wealth of adult Australians is $233,504. Personally, I don’t actually know how much money that is, probably mostly due to the fact that almost my whole adult life I have been a student, and have never earned very much.
To not have enough money is the source of so much anxiety. But curiously, it’s one of those things that you can never have enough of. If you don’t have enough you worry about paying the rent. If you have enough to pay the rent, you want enough to travel to Europe. If you have enough to do that you want enough to buy that house by the water. It’s never-ending.
Australians may be wealthy, but are they happy? Are they content? Are they fulfilled? Has their wealth allayed all their fears and anxieties? Maybe, just maybe, great wealth hasn’t helped any of these things.
How many people are estranged from members of their family? How many have strained relationships with parents or children or friends? How many suffer after choosing to terminate a pregnancy? How many look for love in all the wrong places? How many are addicted to drugs? To porn? To video games? How many are physically and emotionally abused?
When I read that ‘Australians remain the richest people in the world, by one measure at least’, I think of all these other measures. We live in a broken world. Money will not fix that.
Of course money can and often is used for good, even great causes. But to place your hope in your bank balance is foolish. Think about the bigger picture: money is nothing. It’s a number. It just sits in a bank. Or under the mattress if you’re that way inclined.
Put your hope in something that lasts. Put your hope in God, for he is the one who says,
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:19-21).