Saturday, July 23, 2011
I am far from being rich, oh, so very far, yet I do not feel one iota of resentment, or envy toward those that have more than I do. I do not consider wealth to be a qualifier in determining a person's character. I do not really care what the rich spend their money on or don't spend it on. Are there some wealthy people that are greedy? Sure, as greedy as one person I know, that makes much less than I do. Greed knows no bounds and is not determined by how much money you have. Nor is envy, or the accusation of the rich being evil and greedy, which is the point of this posting.
I have a relative who almost foams at the mouth with the thought that a wealthy person has more than others less fortunate. For this relative, money = greed. Ironically, he plays the Powerball each week so I asked him why he played the lottery, and he just looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. I continued and asked him, that if he won, would he now be one of the greedy, rich people? He was fit to be tied. Of course not he told me, he would share what he had, give to the poor and he would give to various charities. Again I continued, and asked him, if he himself would give of his wealth, what made him think that others do not? Why assume that because others have money, that in itself makes them greedy, yet he wouldn't be? He had no answer. He had been bought and paid for by envy.
Those engaged in class warfare, in pitting rich citizen against the moderate or poor citizen make good use of envy. Through the use of envy, they try to get the poorer of us to get angry and rail against the rich. They point their finger at the rich and accuse them of having gotten rich on the backs of the poor, us, or by stealing from the poor, again...us. Never naming names, they justs generalize about the rich as all greedy and the only thought of the rich is their bottom line.
Of all the sins that can be committed, envy is the only sin where there is no satisfaction gained by the one that commits this sin. Adultery, theft, murder etc...have some sense of satisfaction when committed. Sex has it's sexual satisfaction, theft has the satisfaction of having something for which you did not want to pay or can afford. Murder for some has the sweet taste of short lived vengeance and vindication. Envy? Nothing. Envy is an empty vessel that fills itself with 'self'. Envy brings no satisfaction, but with it comes much bitterness and anger. Envy is a complete waste of energy and is destructive to one person: the one who plays this game.
Contrary to what many think, Christ did not say money is the root of all evil, but the desire of money is the root of all evil. Money is neither good or bad. It is what people do to accumulate it and how much importance they place on its accumulation. The same could be said on the accumulation of anything, or 'stuff' in our lives. Christ also said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the rich to enter heaven. Does that make the rich evil? No, it doesn't. It may make it more difficult to enter heaven for the attachment they have to money, but again, we become attached to other things we have in our lives. What the envious do not seem to understand or see, is that they also have an unhealthy desire for what others have that they do not.
Rich people are no more evil than anyone else. It is people with money who usually start a business and hire people to work for a wage providing employment. It is on the charitable donations of the rich that many charities thrive. It is the top one percent of the 'evil' rich people that pay about ninety percent of all income taxes in this country. It is the man who had money and was a disciple of Jesus that gave his own tomb so that our Lord could be buried...
Those who envy others for their money do not really have a concern for the poor or to see the poor compensated by the rich. Their main concern is to take away from the rich as some sort of retribution only because they are rich and to them, it's just not fair. My relative and others like him that envy the rich, usually do not give much of their money they have now to the poor. What makes them think if they win a lot of money that would change? If we are greedy with the little we have at the moment, we shall also be greedy if we have more.
Charity has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with the love that dwells in our hearts. Envy also has nothing to do with money, but with the anger, bitterness and jealousy we harbor, filling our hearts to the brim, leaving love no place to dwell within it.