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The Emptiness of Wealth

Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, writes:

Living only to acquire more is a foolish proposition. The story of a dear friend's father brings this point home in a profound way. My friend grew up in a modest home with a father who worked diligently to provide for his family. Over the years, he worked long days and most evenings. His business required him to have appointments with potential clients after most people had finished their workday.

Early in the father's career, he purchased a small lot overlooking a beautiful lake. To avoid extravagance, he moved a simple mobile home on the lot and had a deck installed around it so he could sit and watch the sunset. The family spent most weekends together at the lake as the children were growing up.

Over the years, the small business grew and so did the demands on his time. He spent less time with the family as mergers and acquisitions increased the size of the company. The children began to consider him distant and uninvolved in their lives. Still, he continued his relentless accumulation of more and more assets.

Ultimately, his company was acquired by a major company. This landed his picture on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, but then disaster struck. He had traveled so very far up the ladder of financial success only to learn shortly thereafter that he had a rare disease that would take his life in a matter of weeks.

Before my friend's father died, he uttered heartfelt words summarizing the vanity of all that he had acquired. "I was happiest when sitting on the deck outside the trailer watching the sun set on the lake. I never needed anything more than that.”

Source: Chuck Bentley, The Root of Riches (FORIAM Publishers, 2011), Pages 74-75

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