Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed — and though you get praise when you do well for yourself — his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light.
“In a hundred subtle ways,” writes Paul Graham, “the city sends you a message: you could do more; you should try harder … New York tells you, above all: you should make more money.”
“There are other messages too, of course. You should be hipper. You should be better looking. But the clearest message is that you should be richer … Power matters in New York too of course, but New York is pretty impressed by a billion dollars even if you merely inherited it.”
In 2011 an anonymous Twitter account was opened by a Texas man posing as a Goldman Sachs banker. The account chronicled alleged snippets from the firm’s elevator banks. His tweets were not all explicit, but their message was clear:
“If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will.”
“If there’s a hot chick behind me at the ATM, I’ll always leave my receipt in the machine so she can see my balance.”
“I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience.”
Since the city speaks to us subtly by window displays and overheard conversations, it is hard to believe the Psalmist in such a way that our lives and choices are changed. Therefore, we must be on guard, reminding ourselves daily that Jesus is infinitely valuable because he did the impossible – he ransomed his life for us:
“Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever.” — Psalm 49.7-9
Lord, Do we believe this – that Jesus ransomed his life for us – in such a way that we do not seek after the riches of this world and, instead, lay up treasures in heaven? Search our hearts and show us where the love of money has taken root. Forgive us and make us generous and cheerful givers, testifying that we cherish you above all else. Amen.
Finding Our Way
Part 2 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org