It can often seem as if money is the measure of all things. This is especially true in the personal finance world where the answer to nearly any question seems to somehow involve money. This is a good time to step back and realize that there are a few things that are way more important than money. You can completely wipe out financially and rebound, but once lost, each of the five items below range anywhere from tough to impossible to reclaim.
Your relationship with Jesus Christ
In Mark 8:36 Jesus asks us:
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
He was of course presenting to us the contrast between gaining worldly wealth at the expense of eternal salvation, that only comes through a committed relationship with Him. No matter how attractive wealth may be in the moment, it will never be worth sacrificing eternity for.
If you are a believer, you know this to be true, at least intellectually. The problem however is that we often confuse financial success for right standing before God. But right standing before God has nothing to do with money. You are no more blessed when you have money then you are cursed when you don’t.
If you don’t have your health then almost nothing else will matter in your life. It is more important than money because once it’s lost you cannot replace it. No amount of money can reverse a heart attack, a bout with depression or a cancer diagnosis.
It is never worth compromising your health for a job, a career, a business, or the pursuit of money. At a minimum, health has to be at least reasonably maintained throughout your life. Money can interfere with this because it can turn into a crusade if we become obsessed with it. When that happens, your health can easily be ignored.
Once again, time is one of those commodities that once lost it cannot be restored. You can spend years out of your life chasing financial success in giving up time for virtually everything else in the process. Worse, if you don’t achieve the success you seek, the time invested will have been wasted.
Balance is important when it comes to time. Some needs to be spent earning money and building at least a small amount of wealth. But you also need to spend time taking care of your health, spending time with people, spending time in prayer and study, and spending time nurturing yourself.
It’s not at all uncommon for people who are obsessed with financial success to ignore their family. Many times, family will be held up as the whole reason for pursuing financial success. That can be a weak connection if in the pursuit of wealth you fail to spend time and dedicated attention to the people closest to you and who you love best.
Years lost pursuing wealth will be difficult to overcome at a later date in life when you finally become aware of the damage that has been caused by the chase.
It’s not always easy to maintain your integrity during the pursuit of wealth. There’s a fine line between pushing the envelope and outright breaking the law. Many well-meaning business people end up stepping over the line. It’s doubtful that they ever do it intentionally it is very likely that it is more an evolution than a decision.
Guard your integrity like the precious gift that it is. Once it is lost, it will take many years to rebuild the standing that you once had if that will even be possible.
Money is certainly important; we need it to live our lives and to make future plans. But never give it magical powers, or assign it the highest position in your life.
Can you think of other areas of life that are more important than money?