The Value of Wealth

Late at night on 8 November 2016, the Government of India made a surprise announcement that 500 and 1000 Rupee currency notes that people had been using or had with them would cease to be legal tender by midnight. Their value would become zero.

People make great effort to acquire wealth and give careful thought towards making sound investment. Some people buy gold or land. Some build houses, some indulge in stock trading. However, there are sudden events and happenings that they could never have anticipated.

Houses constructed with much planning get razed to rubble in an earthquake. Farmers lose their standing crops just ready for harvesting because of an unexpected storm. People incur huge financial losses because of sudden fluctuations in the stock market. Some businesses go bankrupt. People may lose their jobs. And finally, when death comes, whatever wealth one may accumulate has to be left here to be shared by relatives and other people.

In this context, it is worthwhile recalling the words of Lord Jesus which he spoke two thousand years ago. Jesus had said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

St Paul had also advised that those who are rich should not set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but be good, generous and ready to share. They should store up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

This is what Jesus had to say to a rich young ruler who had come to him seeking eternal life, “Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

Everyone needs money, but it is of no use making our life dependent upon money. For whatever we do for God here on earth we will be more than compensated in heaven. We need to stack up our wealth not here but in heaven.

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