Bread is made for laughter,
and wine gladdens life,
and money answers everything.| Ecclesiastes 10.19
When you run across certain verses in Ecclesiastes it causes you to pause and ask: did the pundit really just say that? This is part of the reason why I like this book so much. There are so many things we have been taught not to say, that we aren’t supposed to admit, that we think but keep buried…the pundit just states them. Here he tells us: money answers everything.
Is he just being coy? Is this one of those moments where he is saying something to make us think; questioning what we know to challenge us? Is this just pessimism talking? I don’t think so. The context of this statement seems to imply that he is giving credence to money as something good that God has made, to be enjoyed along with the rest of creation. So the famous saying: money can’t buy happiness, needs an update; I side with the great philosopher Weird Al Yankovic who said: then I guess I’ll have to rent it.
The truth is, in the world we live, everything depends on money. Nothing can be done without a cost; which we often forget this when we make moral statements about how the state should handle education or how the church should treat the poor. These things aren’t just done, they are paid for. While love has no cost, dinner and a movie does (and the wedding usually costs a lot). Compassion is free, but the meal comes at a price. Even the free offer of the gospel, we talk so much, requires giving something up (we die to ourselves in order to live with Christ). The point here is that money is required to do anything in this world. Money is the answer…but what is your question?
How you spend your money reveals what you are trying to accomplish. The answer you are trying to find is going to drive how you invest. Rather than giving a pious answer about money (it is the root of all kinds of evil), let’s be honest about how we view OUR money.
How are you using your money as an answer?
What realignments might you need to make so that your spending matches your hope?
Are there opportunities for you to answer some other questions that may need answering?