“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Luke 12:15
We can learn a lot from true stories and the story I just heard was told by a Filipino who immigrated to California, set up a nice business selling Filipino merchandise. He earned enough to have two houses, several cars, too many fancy clothes and shoes he did not need and some he did not use even once. His wife was always traveling, and hardly ever home, his kids had graduated and moved to other states. So he finally decided to sell everything and just take care of his mom. He also started feeding about 100 people a day. I think it’s great that he figured out what would make him happy, feel useful and be a blessing to others before he was too old to do anything about it.
Contrast that to what happened to Brazilian mining and refining magnate Eike Batista. He was worth about $35 billion in 2012. He was the seventh richest man in the world. BUT, and it is a big BUT, his oil company OGX became bankrupt a year after. As his business took a nosedive and collapsed, all sorts of anomalies were exposed. Much of the magnate’s profit came from bribing corrupt officials. In July 2018, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Another person who thought that wealth is the be-all of life is the celebrated Elizabeth Holmes. She came out in all the leading magazines because of the revolutionary work she was doing as the CEO of Theranos, a start up. Even Forbes named her the youngest and wealthiest female entrepreneur in the U.S, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. In 2016, all was revealed, and Theranos’ blood tests which was supposed to change the face of health care, turned out to be a massive fraud! She had to pay a $500,000 fine, return her shares, and her net worth went down to zero. There’s a possibility she may end up in prison for up to 20 years and is scheduled to be sentenced in October 2022.
From Jesus’ parable we can glean this lesson: “‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”