The Paradox of Money and Satisfaction

by Jason on January 9, 2010

I usually spend weekend posts looking at key money passages in the Bible.  I’ve found that I spend a lot of time in the New Testament.

This weekend we jump to the Old Testament for our money passage.

Ecclesiastes is a famous book that takes a look at life with pessimism, optimism, paradoxes and hammers home the point that we need God in an often confusing and frustrating world.

“This also is vanity” is a popular line from this book.  The author gives us a much needed re-evaluation on many of life’s greatest pursuits –

Including money!

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12:

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

The More You Love Money, The Less It Satisfies

Here’s the interesting thing about our wealth – the more we love it, pursue it, live for it and give up everything for it – the less it satisfies.

In my opinion the opposite is also true.

The less we love it, the less we pursue it, the less we live for it and the less we give up everything for it the more content we become with what we have and where we are at.

Don’t you hate paradoxes?  Why can’t things be the way we think they should be.

Maybe it’s God’s way of keeping us humble and keeping our focus on Him.

Money CAN Satisfy

Don’t get me wrong – money can make us happy.  I mean, who doesn’t love making money or spending it.

The point is that when we think money will bring ultimate satisfaction, we buy into a lie.  It’s vanity!

I really believe we start getting more satisfaction from our money when we view it as a tool to be used for others.

So, let’s be content with what we have and content with giving our money away. 

Believe me, I need to hear that myself as much as anyone.

ESV Study Notes for Reflection

The Preacher observes the destructive nature of greed and concludes that contentment is a key characteristic of the godly life in this world.

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