Last Saturday, as my parents taught me, I went to church and my pastor unleashed yet one of his great sermons drawn from Luke 18 verses 18 through to 30.
The sermon was great in all aspects but what struck me most were the implicit personal finance lessons that were emerging.
While the pastor was busy highlighting how wealth can prevent us from findings salvation, I was more interested in the Biblical principles that the passage was revealing on how young people can build wealth.
For my atheist readers, just excuse me for a moment as I draw a couple of lessons from this Biblical story.
This is a story of one young man who went to Jesus asking what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him he needed to keep all the commandments to which the young man gladly responded that he had been doing this since his youth. Note here that this was a young man saying he had been doing this since he was young. This could only mean that parents must have had a role to play in bringing up this young man to fear God.
First lesson, foundations of riches start with the type of values parents inculcate in their children. Take note all parents.
Secondly, why would a young man so rich want to find out about eternal life? Perhaps two things: first, he was so rich that he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to die and so he was thinking about immortalityÃ¢â‚¬â€he needed to know how he can live forever and enjoy life as he was doing on earth.
Secondly, he must have been feeling some gap in his lifeÃ¢â‚¬â€his riches could not get him the entire fulfilment he had been longing for. He longed for another life; a life eternal.
You see, no matter how rich you may be, if God is not part of your wealth, you will always feel a gap in your life. A gap that reflects peace deficiency. Riches are not everything but are only one means to achieving lasting happiness.
So what was wrong with this young man? Did he not keep all the commandments after all? The young man knew how to build wealth, but never knew how to ensure for lasting peace while in custody of it. He knew while young that the passage to wealth is to recognise the one who gives it to you Ã¢â‚¬â€œ God. So he kept all the commandments faithfully and indeed he flourished. And he stuck to serving GodÃ¢â‚¬â€he was a religious leader by the way.
But Jesus tells him his problem. This young man had forgotten the simple principle that he was given the wealth as a steward. He needed to share it with the less privileged. You see, often we think by sharing our wealth with others, we are making others lazy. But you will be surprised at how much more wealth you build and the feeling of satisfaction you get when you share it with the less privileged.
Instead of being depleted, the wealth actually grows exponentially. You think am bluffing? Ask the richest neighbour in your town. Did I sound like preaching? Forget the style, take the lessons!