Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Road To Riches

by Rev. James Wong

The Chinese New Year is intertwined with wealth or riches. Most people I met during the New Year greeted me with Gong Xi Fa Cai which means ‘Congratulation and be rich’ or ‘Congratulation and be prosperous.’

There are many Chinese New Year songs in IFM Channel 5 containing lyrics like Gods of fortune coming to your house, Great prosperity coming your way, Becoming rich in the New Year and etc. I went to an open house during the second day of Chinese New Year and was greeted by a gentleman dressed in the customary costume of the God of fortune giving out Ang Pao to augur in good luck. Isn’t it surprising that only the Chinese has the culture of exceptional emphasis on wealth and prosperity in the New Year? Here are a few thoughts on money.

Many people think that ‘if I have more money I will be rich’. The reality is that money will not make you rich. It is financial education that will make you rich.

Others think that ‘if I have more income I will be rich’. This is not true. It is what you do with the money you make that will make you poor or rich.

Others claim that ‘if I have a few more buildings I will be rich’. There are many people who have many buildings yet remain very poor in terms of cash flow. Those buildings will not make you rich. It is the management of those buildings that will make you poor or rich.

The key to riches is not having more money or trying your luck over the gambling tables during the Chinese New Year. It is neither trying your luck on the slot machine in the club house. What is the key to riches?

When Solomon became king, God appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” and Solomon asked for this: “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours.” (1 Kings 3:5-9). This was what God answered him:

“So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for — both riches and honor — so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (1 Kings 3:11-14).

The key to true riches lies in wisdom. Solomon asked for wisdom and not wealth and he became the wisest man in his time. With wisdom on his side, God blessed him with riches and honor beyond the imagination of his contemporaries. Ask for wisdom to manage what God has given you.

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