Money power | Inquirer News

Money power

/ 07:06 AM September 29, 2013

In one Sunday homily, the parish priest stressed, “Money is a bad master but a good servant.”

I can only nod my head in agreement. Money has been the hottest topic in the media with the confessions of whistle-blowers that millions of people’s money has been misdirected into private coffers by an individual reportedly in collaboration with high government officials.

The accused person allegedly keeps the ill-gotten  money all over her house — not only in vaults but also in bathtubs, beds and cabinets because there was just too much of it! People have tagged her as a “nouveau riche”—suddenly amassing wealth despite humble beginnings.


Sadly, people get enslaved by money. The call of money is just too much to ignore that they go to extremes in order  to get rich.


The now infamous “pork barrel fund” controversy has hit hard the Filipinos’ heart, mind and senses. The big rallies everywhere made me shiver with anxiety. “Will this be another case of people power?”

In one of his Sunday homilies, our Pope Francis said that, “money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, even poisons our faith, leading us down the path of jealousy, quarrels, suspicion and conflict. While money begins by offering a sense of wellbeing, if we are not careful wealth can quickly lead to vanity, self-importance and the sin of pride.”

This is exactly why we must be careful not to make money our master. Rather, we can treat it a good servant that can be of  help by reaching out to people who need it.

The early Fathers of the Church, he said, called money the dung of the devil which corrupts and leads us away from our faith.

A new research showed that “the least satisfying marriages were those in which both spouses cared strongly about material goods….it’s the couples where both spouses have high levels of materialism that struggle the most.”

Multiple studies have also found that “people who are materialistic are also more anxious, depressed, and insecure than non-materialistic types. A stronger love of money has also been linked to trouble at home, as these individuals tend not to balance family evenly with work.”


Love for money erodes marriage. How? The research cited two things. The first is that “materialism causes spouses to make bad financial decisions, spending beyond their means, getting in debt and stressing each other out.”

The other effect is that “people who are materialistic spend less time nurturing their relationships with people in their haste to get things.” In short, money is master over relationships.

A master is an idol. When we make money as our master and idol, we remove God in us because we cannot serve two things at the same time. Rather, we should use money to serve God at all times.

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1Timothy 6:10). Note that it is not money which is the root of evil but THE LOVE of it.

Once I was afraid to receive big money, whether from bonuses, pay increases or sale from  properties because every time I have money in my hands, something happens that I let go of it for someone else, mostly to family members who are in dire need.

Whenever I have big blessings I would tell God, “So to whom does this go this time?” It’s not said with sarcasm but in awe. I have been used to letting go of money without enjoying much of it.

I remember years back, a palm reader told me that because the lines on my palm are not joined, money will always slip away from me.

Of course I know better that it’s not about the palm lines but it’s about good stewardship. God has blessed me with a surplus of money that eventually goes out of my hands because somebody else is in more need of it.

Am I happy? Yes, I am. I have learned that when I use money to turn people’s lives around and make them realize that there’s a God who provides for them through my bounty, the joy is indescribable. It is a deep joy not just mere happiness. Just like how servants are used to clean our house or do things for us, money can be instruments for justice, piety, faith and charity. When we let go of money for the welfare of others, it also magnifies the gifts of patience and humility in us —much like the ways of the Lord.

When we have a master who is a tyrant and stresses us, it’s hard to live a peaceful life. When we have servants who do things for us, life is easier.

Let’s make money our servant then, not our master.

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“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” Heb 13:5

TAGS: faith, Religion

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