Max Lucado said the best quote I’ve ever heard on death and money: “You never see a U-Haul following a hearse.”
Max Lucado strikes upon a very important matter in the world of finance: death and money. We may not like talking about death, but it’s important to understand the relationship if you want to manage money well.
There are so many amazing things out there to see in the world, and so many experiences we want to have.
Any human being, from the richest to the poorest, has a list of things they want to do, see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. It’s natural, and it gives us something to work towards.
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Why is Death Important to Money?
When you consider death, and its finality, you’re forced to think of what is truly important. We get so comfortable with waking up each day, getting ready, doing the normal things, making some money, coming home, and starting the process over.
One day, that cycle will be broken, and all the things you did in life, and all the accomplishments will not have mattered.
Like Max said, you won’t be escorted by a U-Haul. It is easy to be blinded by all the fancy and amazing things this world has to offer, but then your means and your end become indecipherable. Better put: you start to earn money for the sake of earning money. There’s no other reason.
It starts out innocently enough, maybe you’re earning money to:
- Get through college.
- Take care of your family.
- Buy a nice car.
- Get a bigger house.
- Have financial stability.
All of those are perfectly normal reasons, but what can some of them yield? Are you going to college to earn more money, or are you going to college to do what you love? Will the nicer car cost you more money in maintenance, gas, etc? Will the bigger house require you to work more to maintain, heat, cool, and pay the taxes?
What Is Financial Stability?
You hear people say this a lot, but maybe they use different terms like “financially independent, financially free, financial freedom” or any number of descriptive phrases, but what do they mean? Maybe they mean:
- Wealthier beyond all imagination.
- Wealthier than everyone they know.
- Enough investment income to sustain their lifestyle without working.
Again, all perfectly normal goals, and in many ways they could be considered “good.” The issue happens when you lose sight of these goals and don’t know when to stop. It is easy for them to become workaholics, who forget about everything and every one, and blindly pursue their goals at all costs.
What Is The End Result?
The result can be a lot of broken hearts and a lot of meaningless money in some bank and brokerage accounts. This scenario has played out numerous times. Just like everything else, the pursuit of wealth is only good in moderation. The bigger issue is if you’ve made money an idol. Remember, you cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).
The End Result Is In Your Control
If you set goals, then define them clearly. Know when you’ve reached them, and be appeased. Put the people you love before the money, and don’t give up the things that are truly important to you. Above all “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
The great news if you’re reading this is, it isn’t too late to make changes. It is easier to continue doing things as you always have, but will your end result require a U-Haul following your hearse? Don’t make money your ends, make it a means that you control intelligently. Money should only be a tool, and nothing more.