At the time of his death, Howard Hughes was the second richest man ever produced by the United States. He left a vast estate of nearly 2.5 billion dollars. In order to spend that much money one would have to spend one thousand dollars a day for over seven thousand, five hundred years! In terms of this world’s wealth, Mr. Hughes had more than any man could possibly need.
But did his billions make him happy? No. In fact, we now understand that his staggering wealth forced him into a life of seclusion from which he found no escape. Only sixteen people attended the Hughes funeral and according to one reporter, “not one of them cried.”
Howard Hughes was rich in money, yet poor in contentment and peace of mind. Wealth was far from the answer to his problems – it caused most of them!
Is it wrong, then, to have money? Again, the answer is no. In and of itself, money is neither good nor bad. Money’s worth is determined by how we obtain it, what we do with it, and what attitude we have toward it. As Emerson once observed, “Money often costs too much.” A lost family, a broken marriage, or a condemned eternity are prices too high to pay in exchange for any amount of money, whether it be ten dollars or ten billion dollars.
Money will serve as a good and useful servant, but if we’re not careful, it can easily become a hard and merciless master.
While the Bible does not say (is that) money is evil, it does warn, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10.) May we wisely use money without our money using us.