Sunday, January 25, 2015

For the Love of Money

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive..." (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)

As the ninth child in a brood of ten, being a product of an over- populated home had never been easy. First things first: food. Though it was not much of a dire issue, it never came by easily. Vivid memories of my parents running from pillar to post so that there was food on the table, still linger in me. Sending us to school let alone finish high school was already deemed a bounty.

In 4th grade, I envy my classmate Garry for his daily "baon" of Ovaltine powder that was neatly wrapped in green cellophane. I thought they were rich for being able to afford it. He would sniff at it and teasingly parade on our faces as he stuffs his mouth. I would look at my classmates' glossy notebooks while mine were a tailor-made salvaged from some unused pages from the  previous year. Those were fine memories that bring  smiles to me nonetheless.

A lot of people have gone through so much in their lives - poverty, poor health, oppression, getting marginalized and the list goes on. I have seen on TV people who have won lotteries and became instant millionaires. They tell stories of wastefulness as soon as they get rich, - how they satisfied themselves with all the things they lacked and even going the extremes till they see themselves going down the drain with no hope.

There was also this one episode sometime ago in a GMA public affairs program of an old woman in Leyte in her early seventies who was left to care for her three little grandchildren whose mother ventured to work in Manila and not to be heard again after a few years. Their decrepit house had no lights save for the generous night sky that lights up their house when it's full moon. Needless to say, they would prefer it doesn't rain a lot. She gathers firewood and sells them for a meal but not enough to get by. Understandably, she would forgo her share so that her grandchildren don't go to bed hungry from a scant meal. I can feel every tear she shed, and the sight of calluses in her bare feet stalked by the camera added up to the pity every viewer felt for her frail and bony frame. How much more  pain should she endure daily?

Sometimes when we're not confronted with this kind of reality, we seem to have lost touch with what is happening around us especially when we are literally swimming in the comforts of our achievements. Then very basic questions in life come to mind. With so much poverty around us, still a lot of rich people have that insatiable cravings for more riches even to the point of robbing others, even a whole nation. Look at some politicians in the Philippines and you will see greed personified. And it doesn't stop there. Truth is, these things don't bother us a bit as long as we too are unhindered in our own quest to store up more wealth for ourselves.

The internet and social media in particular has long been abuzz with the corruption issues involving some senators who colluded with Janet Napoles to plunder the nation in a level not seen in history. Of late, a sitting vice president including his entire family has been embroiled in a massive graft and corruption allegations so blatant that you suddenly decide greedy humans can't be fixed no matter what. And we are talking here of billions stolen from the Filipino people by the privileged few. It's not for me to talk about details but the flaunting of wealth by the daughter of the Napoles matriarch is vomit-inducing you wouldn't believe all the while there already existed an heir to the so-called the greediest woman in history. 

Though most people got the shock of their lives for such a brazen display of extravagance at the expense of people's money, I'm not a bit surprised. I'm not talking in a perspective of a citizen who helps keep the local economy afloat but as a mortal being who believes everything in this world has an end. Even the world's richest men know that at some point they will let go of their riches upon death. However, it is only the belief that they can pay their way to heaven that keeps them greedy even more. It has been foretold in the Bible (2 Timothy 3) that in the last days people will be  lovers of themselves and lovers of money - such is a terrible time that we are witnessing right now. And this is where it gets even more scary.

Justice Is On The Way

The Bible says in Mark 8:36, "For what profit is it for a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?" In this world where everyone is busy storing up riches for himself even at the expense of another human being, kindness and generosity toward those in need sometimes get obsoleted when the love for oneself supersedes everything else. I am a firm believer though that God is coming swiftly with His justice and righteousness for the nations. Not that we should gloat at a bunch of robbers and bandits for their imminent destiny but we still hope that they change their ways no matter how sinful they think they have been because they can still be forgiven if they repudiate their sinful ways and turn back to God in repentance.

The Good News

God loves His creations. He loves us, yes, even though it's too good to be true that a righteous and just God can forgive even the worst sinners among us. Jesus laid His life for all of us sinners: robbers, murderers, idolaters, liars, homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, everyone of us, even those plunderers. If we  repent of our sins and truly sorry for all the sins that we have done, then Jesus will forgive us of our sins and remember them no more. And He will most importantly give us eternal life. But who can escape God's wrath if we reject such a great salvation?

And The Bad News

It's just the opposite of the Good News. If we don't repent of our sins the wrath of God will follow us and He will come swiftly with His judgment that not even our gold and silver will be able to hide us and save us from His justice. That is the saddest news when people do not repent of their sins and refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6) We might be struggling to find another way or some other ways imaginable, like donating to our church or giving alms to the poor or doing some good works just like what Oprah insists on her show because obviously she cannot accept that there is only One way. It's up to us people. We have been warned and lovingly told of the Gospel at some point in our lives. It is for us whether we accept or reject such a great gift of salvation. Sadly, many of us choose the path that we take. I hope it's not too late. We are happy to be alive today, but what about tomorrow? Do we know what tomorrow will bring forth?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...