I used to laughingly say, “I don’t have too many problems, personal or professional, that $1,000,000 wouldn’t solve.” It looks like I overshot the mark a bit. According to a new report by Personal Capital, Americans say they need around $500,000 to feel financially healthy and secure. This was the amount that would let them live without worry, knowing they could pay the bills, be ready for future events, and add some toward their retirement.
What do you need to make you feel secure and content? While more money would make us feel better financially, feeling secure is a moving target. My whole life I thought “a little more” would do the trick. Yet, here I am, decades later, still thinking “a little more” would get me to that magical place.
Once we have enough money for basic needs, more never brings us more. The problem, of course, isn’t with the money. The problem is that we have a question that money can’t answer, no matter how much we have. Money is not the answer for a sense of security, nor for contentment. We have traded a material answer for a spiritual question.
Our faith is clear that, while money matters, it matters less than knowing we are owned, loved, secured, provided for, and given an inheritance that starts today and goes for as long as the stars will shine in the universe. We know that when we walk with God we will have a partner, and strength, for the ups and downs. We rest in a sense of goodness and provision. We become grateful for blessings that others, in their search for money answers, completely overlook. Our walk through life becomes easy, open-handed, and gracious. We can say, with the apostle Paul:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
Being able to be content in any and every situation—now that is worth more than money!
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana