Does money matter in life? If so, what is the role of money in our lives? Are money and wealth evil? Should we judge others by the size of their bank account? My personal belief is that money, while definitely not the most important thing in our lives, does play an important role.
When Money Matters
I believe that there are certain responsibilities that just about every human being has in life. One of those is to provide for ourselves and our families, which generally requires money.
Unless you live in some remote part of the world and are able to subsist off of hunting or farming your own land, you will likely require money to provide the necessities of life for yourself and your family.
Other Worthy Endeavours
I believe that money also allows us to achieve other laudable goals in life. For example, money can allow us to provide opportunities for our children that they might not otherwise have, such as allowing them to take piano lessons, do gymnastics, or take swimming lessons.
Additionally, money in some cases can enrich the time we spend with our loved ones. Don’t misunderstand me–I think a family can find ways to spend quality time together at home or in other ways that don’t require money. However, it does generally cost money to travel to see relatives, enjoy the performing arts, or travel to enjoy some of the natural wonders around us, which can be very rewarding.
Finally, money can also be very useful in providing certain types of charity and service to others. Many forms of service and charity require no money; in fact, some of the best service costs no money at all but rather requires that we be thoughtful and give of our time to serve and bless others. However, in some cases money can also enhance the quality and quantity of service we can provide.
How is Success in Life Measured?
I highly doubt that if our lives are later judged by our posterity, God, or others that they will care about how much money we made in life. I think they will be much more interested in the kind of life we lived, what kind of a spouse, parent, and human being we were, and whether we used our talents and financial resources in life to help others.
“No person was ever honored for what he received. He was honored for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
I highly doubt that when my wife and I are on our death beds that we will be wishing that we had spent more money on ourselves. I doubt I will regret my decisions to give up 2 years of my life doing missionary service in South America while many of my friends were having fun in college or to give 10 – 15% of my earnings to charity to help others.
I doubt my wife and I will regret the decisions we made when we were first married to not postpone having children or to have my wife give up her potentially lucrative career and instead stay home with our children.
Instead, I bet we will be incredibly grateful for the opportunities that we had to serve and help others. No doubt none of the sacrifices we make in life to help others are easy, and many are extremely difficult. However, the rewards they bring make it all worth it.
If anything, I bet on our death beds we will wish that we had spent more time serving others. I bet we will wish that we had been a better spouse or a better parent, or a better person. I bet we will wish that we had read more with our children or played with them more, and spent less time at the office. I bet we will wish that we had spent less time and money on selfish desires and instead spent more on our families and fellow human beings in need.
You might be wondering why the author of a personal finance blog would say that money is not the most important thing in the world. I’m saying that because I believe it to be true.
Money is a wonderful tool in life that can enrich our lives as we use it responsibly to fulfil our responsibilities in life and bless the lives of our families and others around us. Money by itself will not bring happiness, but the unwise or purely selfish use of money will likely bring sorrow.
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” Ben Carson
“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.” Wayne Dyer
“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.” David McGee
“That best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” William Wordsworth
I didn’t choose the career path I did or decide to write this blog because I want to help people increase their wealth at all costs. Rather, I do it because I want to help people on the difficult path towards financial security. Managing our finances wisely will bring us peace and happiness. It can also increase the time and financial resources we have to devote to our families and others in need, which will enrich and bless our lives and the lives of others.
For additional insights on this topic, check out this book:
What are your thoughts about the role of money in our lives? Does money matter? Leave a comment below!
Image: Alex Kalina/Bigstock