Money can't buy you real stability

Tina Haapala |

Perhaps it is because I’m at a combination psychological/spiritual workshop that I’m in the mood to talk about this kinda stuff, but today (tonight for me) I want to look at money myths. People perceive money in all sorts of ways, but for purposes of this discussion I’ll focus on three: Physical, Positional, and Psychological.

Many feel money makes you physically safe. This makes some sense. Money can buy a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your belly. Indeed, money can provide some physical safety; yet it can’t protect against everything.

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

You can afford a nice house, but a tornado doesn’t care that it’s paid for. You can afford a nice car, but that won’t keep a drunk from running into you with their own vehicle. You can afford medical care, but we all still end up dying. There is a definite limit to what physical safety money can buy.

In fact, money can take away some protection. The richer you are the more people are attracted to you for your money. And the more people will do to get some of it. Blackmail, extortion, and ransom plots tend to gravitate toward money.

Many believe money gives you a stronger position. Even those who are a bit rude or obnoxious can find themselves in circles of greater influence because of money. Money can be translated into power. So, yes, money can position you higher in a community, but it won’t necessarily keep you there.

We all know folks whose attitude, mouth, or libido caused them to fall from the ivory towers they erected. Some shame may be hidden or the effects delayed, but eventually truth shows through the façade. Eventually the people who had crowded around due to adoration change to those who are drawn only by greed.

Finally, money makes you feel good, doesn’t it? Your ego is enlarged by the fatness of your wallet. You feel a new confidence that you are king of the hill…or at least can buy the crown. You begin to believe in your own importance, brilliance, and philosophical superiority…buoyed by the physical and positional gains mentioned earlier.

Yet your inner self (or whatever you want to call it) knows you pretty well. It is quite aware that you are pretty much the same person you used to be, before you started defining yourself with money. And while your conscience might think highly of itself, the rest of you knows better. This creates a psychological tension that can break you emotionally and physically.

Know that I’m not knocking money. My career is mostly built around helping people grow their wealth. But thinking money can allow you to stay in high positions or make you physically orpsychologically immune to the realities of life is not true. It never has been.

That’s what I’ve come to rely on God for. No, He won’t necessarily keep harm from coming to me nor keep me from harming myself, but I can trust Him to get me through whatever comes my way. I can’t say the same about money.

This article was published in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on October 11, 2015.