ST. CROIX INSIGHTS
Why is our measure of success still money?
BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC
So, what do you call a billionaire, three failed marriages and five kids who won’t talk to him? A success. Just seems so wrong when I put it that way yet, at one time I’d agree with him being a success based on one factor, money. I was wrong.
The other day, I’m walking around a graveyard. I had no more of an important place to be on that day. I didn’t see any gravestones with someone’s balance sheet or their net worth.
What I do see are the dates of birth, dates of death, spouses being buried next to each other with their dates of marriage and images of their loved ones etched into the stone.
I know it runs counter-intuitive for someone in my industry to say money shouldn’t be a measure of your success. But you and I know deep down it’s true. So, let’s not pretend it is!
Money is manmade and I’m in no way saying its bad or not helpful. See my blog on, “What Does Financial Freedom Mean to Me.” Rather, we need to make sure we have the right perspective about money and how to use it during our time on Earth.
So, it got me thinking about what does God have to say about money? If you are a Christian and attend church or just a C & E attender, you’ve heard that God wants 10%. And to paraphrase God wants us to owe no other man, for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This one really gets to me on what’s in the Bible. Deuteronomy 16:16-17, “No man should appear before the Lord empty handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.” I think of all the times I felt like I didn’t have money and let the offering plate go by. Please don’t judge me, I’m just being honest and real.
Tithing. For believers, I’d suggest for many that mean “giving.”
At a service recently, I was listening to Pastor Bob talks about how this 11-year-old girl told him this church changed her dad’s life. He needed help and needed to fill a gap in his heart. He needed the Lord to come into his life. I’m sitting there thinking about how cool is that! Here all those people had a hand in changing a person’s life. Not just the dad, but the mom and their four kids.
Life’s just darn hard today. Money seems to be one of those complications 99% of everyone, including myself, encounter struggles within one form or another. Yet, as I ponder this, I wonder if it is a struggle to help others? My answer is no. One way I can be impactful is by helping others fill the void in their life by finding Jesus. Now that is cool.
So many of us, including myself, find pleasure in “stuff.” We think stuff – material stuff – gives meaning and fulfillment in our lives. It may, but only short-term. Definitely not long-term pleasure. If you don’t believe me, let me prove it to you. When you purchase that new iPhone, how long does it take for the newest to wear off? Not long I suspect because I’ve been there myself.
I’m unclear what “value” the Kardashians bring to us but they earned according to Forbes $122.5 million in 2016. Somehow, I know I’m paying that but why are they worth it? Or Lebron James, a great basketball player, earning $71 million this year. A guy throwing around basketball around – an inflatable rubber thing. I don’t know how, but I suspect I’m paying for that too…. but so are you! It might be indirectly, but we both are paying in some way.
I’m not judging, but rather asking how impactful in our world are the Kardashians, Lebron or for that matter, me, Brett Anderson? I want to be impactful. I want to help be the change in other people’s lives for the positive they seek.
St. Croix Advisors, LLC is an investment advisory firm. We seek to help our clients achieve financial simplicity. Before implementing financial ideas you read, work with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or CPA for advice or recommendations that fit your own financial situation.