FATAL RICHES

By Aaron C. Andrews

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows(1 Tim. 6:10).


There was a story in the news about a German billionaire who threw himself in front of a train last week. The family confirmed that he took his own life.  They said, “The distress in his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life,”

After reading the article I thought about how sad it is to be in a frame of mind that says, “Because of the loss of riches, and without the ability to change that, the next best solution is to take my own life.”

Paul tells us those who seek after riches: “pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” This man could not live with the fact that he had lost so much money in the markets, as well as his standing in financial circles. While striving for prosperity and great riches he lost everything. He had pierced himself through with many sorrows.

If only he would have learned the lesson Paul gave in 1 Tim. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” (1 Tim. 6:6-8).  Contentment does not come by having more and more stuff, for surely the loss of it would be great. 

Contentment is a frame of mind. We are commanded in Heb. 13:5 to “be content with such things as you have.” Surely if we put money in its proper place, and are content no matter what happens in life, we can keep ourselves from the many sorrows that people of the world find while chasing the “almighty dollar.”

One of the tragic things about this story is that he was survived by children and grandchildren. What great lessons he could have taught them about succeeding and rolling with the punches, about getting up when you are down, about learning to be content with whatever you have. Instead the lesson left them was “when all seems lost, it really is.”

I am certain this billionaire now knows the tragedy of what he has done. He ended his life because he thought he had lost everything, but by ending his life he truly did loose everything. Certainly we can say that the love of money destroyed this man and destroyed his only chance to learn the contentment in this life and for all eternity. 

 

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