The acquisition of money is not the goal of all things.
Unfortunately, too many of us have been told the lie that the one with the most toys at the end of life wins. Tragically, some of us believe it and live as if getting money and its related benefits (like status, power, respect, and control) is all that matters.
Fortunately, in response to this erroneous concept, Scripture provides another word of truth. It’s a voice that is faintly heard, but ought to reverberate in all our thoughts about wealth.
Money is not all there is to life.
The Construct of Better
One of the most effective ways to prioritize is the ‘better check’.
Let’s assume you were evaluating 10 items trying to decide what is most important, but you’re finding that difficult to do. Just take each item and place it alongside another item and ask – which is better? The item that is better than all your other nine items is your top priority.
The better check doesn’t help if you’re missing the most important item from your list, but it helps to make sure the wrong things don’t get too high a priority in your life.
I think about this in the context of the well known Meatloaf song. (I never imagined that I’d quote Meatloaf in this blog). The song has this line …
I would do anything for love … but I won’t do that.
What are the things that aren’t worth sacrificing in order to get money?
Paul did an inventory of his life and writes about it in Phil. 3:1-11. In the end, he concludes that the things he thought were better (profit) were now in fact words (loss). The things he valued he came to consider rubbish. I think Paul’s encouragement to us would be to know and evaluate the true value of things to make sure you don’t end up with a big collection of worthless things that you had to sacrifice valuable things to get.
6 Things Undeniably Better to Get than Money
According to the book of Proverbs, there are at least six things that we ought to categorize, desire, and pursue above money.
1. The fear of the Lord & wisdom is better than money.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. Proverbs 3:13-14
Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16
2. Family love is better than money.
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. Proverbs 15:17
3. Righteousness is better than money.
Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. Proverbs 16:8
4. Peace in the home is better than money.
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. Proverbs 17:1
5. A good reputation is better than money.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1
6. Integrity is better than money.
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse. Proverbs 28:6
Of course, for Paul it’s Christ. That’s the ultimate gain. All things compared to him are loss. Unfortunately, when Proverbs was written Christ had not yet walked the earth so he didn’t make the list. However, if the list were rewritten in light of Christ, he would clearly be the one best thing to get instead of money.
What else do you think Scripture teaches is better than money?