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Are You Satisfied?
By Gordon MacDonald

"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income." Ecclesiastes 5:10

It would certainly be inaccurate to suggest that the biblical writers held money in contempt. On the other hand, they were aware that money possesses a certain power to tantalize a human being and then hold him captive.

Satisfaction and contentment are marks of a man or woman of God. Combined with a hunger and thirst to know God and enjoy his creation, they create a healthy tension in the Christian life. But the love of money destroys that tension. It becomes a seductive influence suggesting that one can become more powerful, more desirable, happier, if there is just a little bit more.

The writer of Ecclesiastes--sometimes called Koheleth--understood this. Love money, and you'll never have enough of it, he said. Its ability to provide contentment is short-lived, and then one has to seek another fix--more money--in order to stay on the level of contentment or satisfaction that one was on yesterday. It's a losing game, Koheleth wants us to know.

"I have seen wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner," he says a few lines later. And one only has to think of some of the classic scions of wealth who died immersed in lawsuits, loneliness, and greedy entourages who wait like vultures for the body to cool.

We must ask ourselves how one makes the transition from loving money to harnessing money. And the answer begins in this obvious way: by loving God more. And then going on to love what God loves more. And then going on to find the true path of generosity, where one links one's money with those situations that have God's attention and affection.

Koheleth wants the would-be generous giver to know one thing--if all other things are forgotten: Let your wealth become your obsession, and you are doomed to a life of mediocrity. Harness your wealth to kingdom objectives, and you are privileged to live a life of joy.

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