Thursday, May 17, 2007

Money Not Enough

GCF i-commentary: In 1998, Jack Neo released his popular movie, "Money Not Enough" during the throes of the financial crisis. Whether or not one has watched the movie, the title will strike a chord with many of us at one time or another.

The price of almost everything is going in only one direction: UP. Things are getting more expensive these days, from food items to petrol and even to ASTRO bills (ASTRO has become almost a basic necessity for some of us). If only Christians can buy lottery tickets and have a shot at the jackpot. All of us can use some extra cash (just kidding).

The Bible has a lot to say about money matters. In 1 Timothy 6 v 6, the Bible says that "godliness with contentment is great gain".

Contentment is a famous lost word. In a culture where novelty has become a norm, all of us have to struggle against the lie that "bigger, newer and faster are better!" We are bombarded with constant advertising from all over the place telling us that our life is not complete unless we live in a bigger house and drive a fancier
car and invest in that high yielding portfolio. Contentment? That is something reserved for mystics who spend their days meditating in caves, not for urban dwellers like us who have a "modern standard of living" to maintain. Yet, we all know the well worn phrase, "things cannot buy happiness". Still, we yearn for more stuff that this world can offer, always chasing that elusive fulfillment that the next purchase may bring.

This quote from Herbert Schlossberg stopped me in my tracks recently: "All true needs, such as food, drink, and companionship, are satiable.Illegitima te wants - pride, envy, greed - are insatiable. By their very nature they cannot be satisfied. In that sense, materialism is the opium of the people. Enough is never
enough. Greater quantities are required for satisfaction and each increment proves inadequate the next time."

After reflecting on this quote, I resolved to be a more contented person and focus on legitimate needs. I realized afresh that I do not really need much stuff to get by in this life. True needs are satiable. I can eat a simple plate of "chap fan" and be truly satisfied. I can drink local "kopi O" instead of splurging on a RM10
coffee to quench my thirst. I can drive my wife's Kelisa and reach my destination (since when does transportation become a symbol of success?). When life is simple and we are freed from the tentacles of materialism, we can focus on finding true fulfilment and satisfaction in a growing and vibrant relationship with Christ. It's true that money is not enough. All the money in the world is not enough to give
us a sense of purpose and direction in life. Only Christ can do that.

When we have Christ and we learn to live simply and contently, that is great gain!

Christ is Enough,
Wong Fook Meng

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