In my own struggle to overcome unhealthy beliefs about money, I recently found my way back to an old text on the limitations of wealth. I was startled by how these words from antiquity feel so remarkably modern. And what blew me away even more than the freshness of these ancient words is the profound insight behind them.
MYTH #1: More money will fulfill me emotionally and spiritually.
TRUTH: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
MYTH #2: More money will enrich my social life.
TRUTH: “As goods increase, so do those who consume them” (Ecclesiastes 5:11).
MYTH #3: More money will open doors to all sorts of practical benefits.
TRUTH: “And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” (Ecclesiastes 5:11).
MYTH #4: More money will ease my anxiety.
TRUTH: “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
MYTH #5: More money will protect me.
TRUTH: “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners” (Ecclesiastes 5:13).
MYTH #6: More money will provide me comfort and security.
TRUTH: “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: . . . wealth lost through some misfortune so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit” (Ecclesiastes 5:13-14).
MYTH #7: More money will mean I’m successful.
TRUTH: “Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, to they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?” (Ecclesiastes 5:15-16).
MYTH #8: More money will allow me to stop working and enjoy life.
TRUTH: “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink, and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18).
MYTH #9: More money will make me happy.
TRUTH: “I have seen another grievous evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind: God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil” (Ecclesiastes 5:19-6:2).
MYTH #10: More money will do more for me than the money I already have.
TRUTH: “Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 6:9).