Wanting more or the desire to have more causes a great amount of conflict in families. George Gallup says that the number one cause of arguments in families is family finances. Sixty-five percent of all marriages argue about money.
Why do we always want more? It isn’t the money itself. It’s what we think the money will bring. We think money will bring three things.
1. More satisfaction. All the advertisements tell us that. If you have more, you’re going to be more happy. The problem is your yearning will always exceed your earning.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”The desire to acquire just keeps on growing. So it doesn’t bring more satisfaction.
2. More significance. We think, “If I have more then I’ll be more important. I’ll be more respected. I’ll be more powerful. I’ll be more admired. I may even be more famous. I can afford all those status symbols that prop up my ego.”
Yet Jesus said this, Luke 12:15 ”Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
In other words, your net worth is not the same as your self worth. You should never confuse your value with your valuables. How much you own has nothing to do with your personal worth.
We think that having more will make us more happy, that it will give us more satisfaction, that it will make us more significant, but it doesn’t.
3. More security. The problem is, how big must your pile be in order for you to be secure? You can never have enough because you can lose it overnight in a million different ways. So you don’t really gain any security.
Proverbs 23:5 “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Solomon says we think it will bring more significance and more satisfaction and more security but it doesn’t bring that at all. In fact, he tells us what having more really produces and he ought to know because he was the wealthiest man who ever lived. In fact, the Bible says he was so wealthy that even his plates and his glasses were made of pure gold. That meant they not only had to clean them and wash them they had to polish them after every meal!
Solomon says that having more does three things, it gives us…
1. More expenses. As income goes up, so do your expenses. It always costs more to have more. I say, if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can be sure that their water bill is higher too! It just costs more to have more. You never seem to have enough. More brings more expenses.
Ecclesiastes 5:11 ”As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?” It’s true. The more you’ve got, the more you spend. Having more actually creates more expenses.
2. More worries. Ecclesiastes 5:12 “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.” The more we have the more we worry. We worry about how to save it, how to protect it, how to invest it, how to insure it, how to spend it, and how to avoid taxes on it. The blue collar worker, he goes to work, he punches his time clock, he forgets his job, he goes home and he doesn’t think about it any more. He goes home, watches tV, has a nice meal, makes love to his wife, goes to sleep and sleeps like a baby.
The rich man, he says, goes home and he worries. He takes the job home with him in a briefcase. He’s thinking, “Is the deal going to close? Am I going to make the sale? Did the stocks go up? Did the stocks go down? Did I hire the right people? Did I fire the right people?” He can’t let go because he has to fuss and fume and worry through the whole thing.
A working man will get a good night’s sleep but the more you’ve got, the more you stay awake worrying. I read a study recently that insomnia increases with income.
A chiropractor once said to a patient, “You carry a wallet?” The patient said yes. He said, “When you set with a wallet it puts your spine out of balance. In fact the bigger the wallet you have, the more pressure on you.”
Having more creates more expenses. It creates more worries.
3. More pain if it’s lost. Ecclesiastes 5:13-17 “ I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. 15 Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind? 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.”