How Much Money Do Americans Need

How Much Money Do Americans Need

That the​ hot pursuit of​ money can pull someone away from all other matters in​ life is​ now becoming more obvious in​ America. Some people who have made their first million and more are turning to​ something else for fulfillment. Some are becoming volunteers,​ others are joining religious movements and still others are giving their money away to​ help those less fortunate. Why is​ this happening?

I have traveled through a​ lot of​ the​ world and have developed an​ obvious bias when it​ comes to​ Americans. Besides being the​ most stubborn,​ silly and obstinate people on​ earth I am sure they are the​ kindest people as​ well. the​ level of​ caring for others here outshines anything I have seen worldwide. On the​ collective level Americans often raise more money and send more aid the​ people of​ foreign countries than their own governments raise to​ help. On the​ personal level the​ stories of​ generosity and kindness are countless. it​ is​ a​ matter of​ the​ heart I’m sure.

As a​ boy my mother drove me to​ the​ town square to​ do a​ few errands with her. She told me to​ go to​ the​ news stand and buy her daily paper while she went to​ do an​ errand. I wandered slowly down the​ street window shopping as​ I went with my imagination in​ high gear,​ it​ was Christmas time and I was dreaming of​ all the​ things I though Id like to​ have at​ that time when it​ was most likely I might get them.

I was within a​ block of​ the​ news stand clutching the​ fifteen cents tightly in​ my hand for the​ paper. I passed by the​ doorway of​ an​ unoccupied building and there sitting on​ a​ tiny wooded platform was a​ legless man. Shabbily dressed and unshaven he sat shivering in​ the​ cold with an​ old tin can in​ front of​ him stuffed with a​ few yellow pencils. He called out…pencils…five cents. I froze in​ my tracks and gazed at​ him. My emotions were a​ rock hitting the​ calm waters of​ a​ pool sending splashes and effects everywhere at​ once. I had not seen anything like that yet in​ my life.

A sense I could not explain or​ describe gripped my heart. I gave him the​ fifteen cents and stepped back as​ he tried to​ give me three pencils. I said …no,​ sell those to​ someone else,​ and then I ran. My mother scolded me when I explained what I had done but I couldn’t hear her very well. All I could do is​ to​ think about that man and his condition for hours,​ even days to​ come. Up to​ then I had paid little attention to​ higher morals,​ right and wrong or​ religious teachings. I was just too busy being a​ boy. What made me stop and give him the​ money puzzled me for years. I know now it​ was something I am made of​ and not something I learned.

That is​ what I mean about Americans although not all. They are made of​ something different. I can only guess that it​ the​ grace of​ God still lingering on​ a​ nation that hasn’t given up completely on​ things that are right and faith in​ a​ living God. When they do turn from these things it​ seems they don’t notice it​ too well because they do it​ by degrees. With the​ distraction of​ so much information and education along with the​ profusion of​ entertainment and recreational options it​ seems Americans are drifting. They aren’t just drifting from higher principles but from higher purpose. They are learning what everything is​ made of​ but forgetting what they are made of.

Some temptations are more universal than others. Most people will not become Presidents or​ statesmen and most will not become well known actors or​ performers. But many people realize that in​ today’s booming economy there is​ opportunity to​ become very rich. at​ the​ very least there is​ opportunity to​ get…just a​ little bit more.

If the​ unbridled pursuit of​ just a​ little more money can pull people away from God’s message to​ them,​ then it​ is​ reasonable to​ think that it​ can pull them away from many other things as​ well…even themselves or​ who they really are.

And that which fell among thorns are they,​ which,​ when they have heard,​ go forth,​ and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of​ this life,​ and bring no fruit to​ perfection. Luke 8:14

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