Things Money Cannot Buy
by: Brandon Baggett
The Wall Street Journal once quoted an anonymous comic who defined “money” as “an article which may be used as a universal passport to anywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness.” Oh, the truth found within this witty little statement! Cars, boats, houses, land, vacations, clothing, and toys can all be bought with money, but a debit card, a handful of cash, nor a large check can secure a person’s eternal salvation. Peter reminded his recipients, “ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). It is possible for a person to be a prince in material wealth and be a pauper in spiritual blessing. Money can buy a lot of things in this life, but there are simply some things money cannot buy.
Money Cannot Buy Happiness! Solomon learned this lesson the hard way. He chronicled his search for meaning, purpose, and happiness in the inspired book of Ecclesiastes. On this journey toward the destination of happiness, Solomon ventured down the road called “material wealth.” He thought money, possession, and physical prosperity would be the solution to his problems. He said, “I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces” (Ecclesiastes 2:8). However, Solomon soon learned true happiness is not tied to money. He went on to say, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Money cannot fulfill man’s longing for happiness. The real answer for man’s yearning to have genuine inner satisfaction is submission to the voice of God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Money Cannot Buy True Friendship! The lives of rich men often abound with friends, but how many of them are true friends? The inspired penman said, “wealth maketh many friends” (Proverbs 19:4), “and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). The wealthy depicted here have many friends because of the selfishness of mankind. Those associated with these rich men are only there for the financial benefits they can extract from their companions. If ever a time came when these rich men lost their possessions, they would also lose their friends. Notice the contrast: “but the poor is separated from his neighbour” (Proverbs 19:4). Lacking possessions separates this man from friends, because maintaining such a relationship might require giving to help such a person instead of receiving from them. Such is not true friendship, because “a friend [a true and genuine friend] loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
Money Cannot Buy Eternal Life! Jesus once spoke of “a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19). This man lived among the rich, flamboyant, and extravagant. He lived in a palace which was surrounded by a large fence. He wore expensive clothing made from the most excessive imported fabric. His table overflowed with the finest meals and the most delightful foods. However, the Scriptures say “the rich man also died, and was buried” (Luke 16:22). The wealth of the rich cannot spare them from the grave (Psalm 49:6-9). Death is where the rich and poor meet on level ground (Proverbs 22:2). This man likely had an expensive funeral and was laid to rest in extravagant graveclothes. However, his soul was delivered into the unseen realm of the dead, and he remains in a state of torment. His riches could not secure his salvation, save his soul, spare him from death, nor supply comfort in the hadean realm. The rich man trusted in his riches and did not trust in the Lord, but his riches failed to purchase what he needed the most.
Money is a Good Servant, But it Makes a Terrible Master. If we view money, possessions, and the physical things of life improperly, we will create a web of problems in our life and condemn our soul to Hell. Money is neither good nor bad, but the love of money is still the “root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV), and it has helped fill our world with a myriad number of problems. Money can be used as a great tool in our hands for the glory of God, but God’s people must realize the limitations of wealth. There are some things more valuable, precious, and needed than money. There are some things money simply cannot buy! Let us, therefore, heed the words of Jesus and pursue the true riches of Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)!