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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 11:28 pm | Fair 51º


Jim Langley: He Said ‘It’s Only Money!’

I snuck out midmorning a few weeks back to get in 18 holes of golf. I found myself wedged between a threesome and a foursome, and finally had the opportunity to join the threesome ahead.

I knew one of the golfers pretty well, but this was the first time meeting the other two older gentlemen in the group. One of those fellows was apparently having a bad day and was not very happy with the state of his golf game either. I couldn’t help notice he was spending an inordinate amount of time on his cell phone, which caused our group to fall behind the other two threesomes ahead of us. They were wagering in a best ball format.

On the back nine, I found out what was irritating this one fellow. As it turns out, he was attempting to close a real estate deal over his smart phone and getting his wife on board at home while he was stranded on the golf course.

He only had an hour or so left to complete the transaction. When he finally realized the deal was falling through for lack of electronic signatures, he commented to me, “It’s only money!”

So, It’s Only Money! I thought. Well, I could tell by his golf attire and country club logo on his golf cap that this fellow must have plenty of the green stuff.

In retrospect, I concluded that it truly wasn’t about the money to him at all. This fellow was driven by completing the deal in order to increase his personal wealth just a bit more.

This became apparent as I prepared to say farewell to my three friends involved in their friendly little competition, and hearing this fellow boasting about this transaction and his prowess in the real estate investment market.

Power, prominence and pride seemed to consume him. His perspective, his choice of priorities, his lack of concern for his playing partners, and his negative impact on their enjoyment of the game saddened me somewhat.

During my many years working as a financial services professional, my clients were most concerned about preserving the wealth they had accumulated through years of hard work. I fortunately steered clear of those who were more concerned about greatly increasing their wealth by taking on substantial risk for substantial financial reward. There are plenty of brokers out there to take on those who become consumed with making a killing in one or more markets.

In 1 Timothy 6:9-10, the Apostle Paul tells us, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

As three of us witnessed that day, it can even affect the pure enjoyment of a friendly round of golf!

Psalm 49 gives us a great perspective of wealth and what it can and cannot do. Those 20 verses paint a vivid picture of the futility of wealth. All the wealth in the world cannot redeem a life. Death and decay come to all men, and we’d be wise to place our trust in our Lord and Savior rather than riches.

In Psalm 20:7, King David proclaims “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Have you found yourself seeking more wealth each day of your life? It’s possible to have only a little wealth and still pursue greater wealth. There’s nothing wrong with working hard to improve your circumstances in life, but beware of possibly letting your desires consume you and having access to the throne.

I recall a fine Christian gentleman years ago who desperately wanted to provide a better life for his family. Over several years I heard him tell me about the additional hours he was working. The last I heard he had taken on a third job to get to his goal just a little faster. Unfortunately, his family suffered and his church family lost a faithful member in the process.

In Philippians 3:7, Paul rightly proclaims “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” True wealth comes from our relationship to Christ Jesus. He is the Way and the Truth and the Life, and yes that’s correct, “It’s only money!”

Passages to Ponder

» Deuteronomy 8:17-18

» Psalm 49:10-13

» Matthew 6:24

» Luke 16:11-13

» Philippians 3:8-9

» Colossians 3:23

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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