“Say you don`t need no diamond ring, and I`ll be satisfied. Tell me that you want those kind of things that money just can`t buy. I don`t care too much for money, for money can`t buy me love.”
So sang the Beatles in a song that was popular a long time ago. It could have been written for the story Jesus told to the Scribes and Pharisees when they grumbled at Him for spending time with tax collectors and sinners, and even eating meals with them.
The younger farmer’s son had asked for his inheritance before the right time and had spent the lot in reckless living in a foreign country. I can imagine that many people were willing to be his friend while he was rich. ‘Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend’ (Proverbs 19:4). After the famine brought hard times to the country no one helped him. They were indifferent to his hunger as he was starving to death.
The Bible tells us rich people have a responsibility to care for the poor. ‘As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life’ (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
The younger son remembered his father who had always followed God’s guidelines. He would never have let any of his hired workers starve. He was too generous for that. It was time for the boy to go back and live in a place where God’s ways were practised.
The Bible also gives guidelines to those who aren’t wealthy. We are to be contented with having food and clothing and not crave for more and more money and things. ‘Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare’ (1 Timothy 6:9). Money can’t buy us love and true friendship as the song says.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, please help me to be generous to others with the wealth You have given me, and may I be content with having the essentials of life and not crave for material things I don’t need. Amen.
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