It’s Just Not Worth It

A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor woman who has discernment sees through him.

 Proverbs 28:11

 

What’s the difference between a rich person and a poor person? Wealth, right? If tomorrow you inherited $100 million, wouldn’t you be rich? What about the people who win the lottery, don’t they go from rags to riches instantly? Yes, all it takes to be rich is money. Likewise, all that’s required to be poor is lack of it. 


If money is all that’s standing between us and being rich, why do we poor people (and middle class people) feel inferior to rich people? Why do middle class people feel superior to poor people? And the greatest irony of all is that the rich and middle class who look down on the lower class are usually the ones who got their money through little effort of their own. People who have class shifted as a result of hard work usually have some measure of compassion for those in the class from which they emerged. 


We think incorrectly that being rich brings with it some heighten level of humanity – more wisdom, more grace, more finesse. If you ever get to know a really rich person, I think you’ll be quite surprised to see that underneath the designer labels and scents, there’s a person just like you – and in some cases, there’s a person who doesn’t even measure up to you.


Once I dated a rich guy – a self-declared venture capitalist. He lived in the nicest neighborhood in town, had a gardener and a maid, drove a wicked Mercedes, wore tailored clothes, had his back waxed regularly and the whole deal. I have to admit that I was taken in by the new experience of being around wealth. He gave me nice and expensive gifts. He was charming, well-groomed and funny. He was a pretty nice guy. In fact, I really liked him and was just starting to get a glimpse of myself belonging in an environment like his when I found out into what kind of venture he invested. 


This great guy owned and financed topless bars. That really messed with my mind. It took me some weeks to reconcile the wonderful guy I thought I knew with the creep who peddled smut. I wondered why a guy like that would even be interested in a wholesome person like me.

I can’t say I ever came to a definitive conclusion about him. Perhaps he lived a dichotomy of personal and professional lives and honestly believed that business and personal were different realities. Perhaps he was just a well-mannered immoral person. It may come as no surprise to learn that the relationship didn’t last for me to find out. I think back on it now with embarrassment that it took me more than a moment to decide what to do once I found out what he really did for a living. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the fun of dating a rich guy didn’t give me pause, and as I’ve already admitted, I did like him a lot. 


It didn’t take long though for me to spin out scenarios of being the smut king’s queen: “How was your day at the office, Dear? Is the new club going to open on schedule? Did the shipment of pasties arrive?”


No, not for a million dollars. He thought himself a savvy business man and counted himself equal with the other big spenders in town. And you know, he may have been. There’s a lot of dirty money to be made in this world. Trading off your principles, morals and values for wealth will leave you spiritually bankrupt. It’s just not worth it.

 

Hold this thought: My Christian values are not for sale.

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