Wealth, Health, and Character

Saturday, Jan. 7                 

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost.  When health is lost, something is lost.  When character is lost, all is lost.”—Billy Graham.  There’s probably no new truth here, but it’s nicely expressed.  All he’s saying is that wealth is not at all important, health is somewhat important and character is all important.  And even though you understand the main message, humor me as I add a few comments.  I’ve never had much in the way of riches, so neither know how to appreciate wealth nor how to deal with its loss.  When I have a house to live in, food on the table, and a middle class life style, I have all I need and much more.  A millionaire can’t really improve on that.  In fact, he’s worse off; he has to guard all that loot.  But I also need to be concerned for those who don’t even have food or shelter—and do my part in remedying the situation.  As to health, I’ve had a few problems, probably less than most, and I live a reasonably comfortable life, so have no complaints.  And there are thousands of people in our world who worry less about their health than avoiding death at the hands of persecutors.  Now this thing of character is in an entirely different category.  An unbeliever can have good character, but no matter how much effort he makes, the sin nature will restrict his efforts.  Christians should have good character, but again the sin nature gets in the way.  Here we need to go back the wealth part of the quotation.  There is more than one kind of wealth.  The riches that Paul speaks of in Colossians has nothing to do with material things.  The Christian has more than human effort to effect a change; he has divine power.  The goal is to become more like Christ every day.  God has given us the tools to do that.  Back to Billy Graham’s statement.  I would love to see how he followed up on it.  Knowing his track record, my guess is that it led to a clear cut invitation to yield to Christ.  If you’re not a Christian, you might want to consider that.  Let me know if you need help.

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