Let's be realistic — I need money to meet our family's grocery housekeeping expenses, our home living costs along with our ministry. I do not have very much of it having served as a faith financed missionary for 40 years but the people who financially support us have enough money to make giftings to us along with other missions.
I was interested therefore to re-read from my archive about an Austrian (Austria — not Australian) a multi-millionaire businessman Karl Rabeder who said all of his money did not make his happy. Karl Rabeder acted with surrising generosity by giving his wealth and money away.
It is Karl Rabeder’s view, “money is counterproductive — it prevents happiness to come.” His money has been given to orphanages and other charity projects in South America. He claimed that the idea came to him some years ago while on holiday in Hawaii, when he realised that he and his (former) wife were finding their luxury resort holiday rather ‘empty’.
The worst that can happen, he said, is that he might ultimately have to take a small job to get by. Mr Rabeder is now divorced, and has been moving towards giving away his money and auctioning his possessions for several years. It is a personal decision. He reflects that none of these things have made him happy, and he has no need of them anymore.
Money can bring with it enormous responsibilities, most of which are hidden within the depths of one's heart. For some people the question becomes not one of making more money for the sake of making more (or making it for one’s employer), but how the ability (the ‘talent’ from God) to make money - might be best used for the benefit of the community.
The more wealth one has, the more careful one is as to how to protect it, and this can lead to one becoming unsettled about the whole thing. This was part of the issue for Karl Rabeder; money became counterproductive to his soul's well-being.
Love of money
The Bible says the 'love of money' is the root of all evil, not money itself.
Missions exist because those with wealth give. Jesus himself ministered — as others had money enough — to provide for His needs. The Apostle Paul knew of the unfortunate side effects of money and the power it creates over people's lives. He chose to work as a tent maker and not be subject to the whims of those who might have given.
For Karl Radeder at least, he ultimately found that so much money created such heartache that only those with it can appreciate, that instead of working through various issues that might have provided other options, he walked away from it.
For many people in our society, the illustrations around us of what having money can purchase, represents their ultimate victory in life (possessions). They see, and therefore crave, such luxury items as large multi-faceted televisions like mini cinemas in luxurious homes, very expensive auto-mobiles, first-class air tickets, the best restaurants, jewellery to weep for.
But Karl Radeder had these things and found that they didn’t bring deep contentment at all. The list of items he got rid of is that of a King's ransom - $2.5 million villa, which has a lake, sauna and spectacular views of the Alps, and his stone farmhouse in Provence, a collection of six gliders and his luxury cars and an aircraft, as well as the business trading in interior furnishings and accessories that made his $4.8 million fortune.
He told Austrian television viewers that it had taken him until now to realise that he “didn't need money and possessions”.
Many couples will reveal that their happiest years were when they were first married and had very little, and that created in their hearts a bond to work together so as to provide for each other and their future family.
Consider this — the intangibles of life, those things we cannot see or touch, such as loyalty, integrity, trust, love, fulfilment, honesty, faith, ambition are the essentials of life. Without these values being held high and true, money achieves nothing but greed, selfishness, envy and sometimes much worse emotions and actions.
As Delma Tronson says, “finding a balance-in-everything is a New Testament hallmark”.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html