MONEY IS NOT EVIL, but the wrong use and ungodly acquisition of it makes it evil. Life and death are in money. Money can lead one to Heaven and can also lead to hell. Judas sold Jesus His Master because of money. In our world today, some Christians are like Judas. They have sold their consciences because of money. Some people are ready to kill just to make money. Meanwhile, while in search of money, some have traded their souls for that which is corruptible, temporal and artificial. Hence, excessive love for money, greed and attachment to material things has led some people into blood rituals, deadly fraternities, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, prostitution and countless number of sins. Some Church leaders, now serve money instead of God.

A rich man died recently. The man was a devoted member of the Church and a strong Knight of the Church. He was a philanthropist and a well recognized man in the society. The funeral was scheduled on Friday, October 13, 2017. An ugly incident occurred during his funeral. The event of that day is still a shock to many and a lesson for others.

During his funeral, as the Christian burial prayer rite was about to end. A group of men surfaced at the arena. At first, people did not understand their intention. But when they started acting, people understood that they had also come to do their own burial rite. One of them made a statement. He said, “We have come to take what rightly belong to us.” It happened that the man belonged to a very powerful deadly fraternity when he was alive, of which none of the family member was aware of. However, some of the family members wanted to stop them, but the fraternity seriously cautioned them not to do so. The family members could not act. Everybody was just surprised; looking in awe. The man’s compound had already been surrounded with powerfully armed men, who were ready to shoott anybody that tried to stop them.

All the family members and Christians who graced the funeral were disappointed. Some of the consolers left the compound angry, while some who stayed refused to take or even extend their condolence to the bereaved. The wife could not bear the shame. She almost committed suicide. The wife is a strong member of the “Church Women Organization”, a humble and virtuous woman. She was not even aware that her husband was a cultist. Instead of her crying for the dead husband, she started crying because of the shame the husband brought on her and the family. She said, “All these years, I did not know that I have been sleeping under the same roof with a goal digger.”

This man in question exchanged his life for money. He had a contract with the devil that he is going to get rich, but will eventually die young. He died at the age of 27. Men who are in his category also die without issue. Some are given restrictions to food, places and people. With all their wealth, they still sleep with two eyes open. Some eat from Shoprite and Mr.Bigs, yet they are never satisfied. They end up living a double standard, incomplete, unhappy and unfulfilled life. In a hurry, they tend to forget that, the gift from the devil is never permanent. It comes with conditions and consequences. For when the devil gives with a left hand, he will also take back with the right. But this is not so with God, for God is steadfast. He gives freely and unconditional. Therefore, make a choice today to belong totally to God. Wait on God and at the appropriate time, He will bless you.

We are blessed differently. Some people count in Naira, others suffer to earn Thousands and Millions, while others  wallow in Billions, Trillions and Dollars. Some toil day and night under the sun just to earn money, yet they have nothing to show for it. While some stay under air-condition and earn millions and billions. This is an indication that “all fingers are not equal.” “Ego anaghi eju afo”, says an Igbo adage. Those with Naira still desire to have thousand, some  struggle for million and Millionaires die hard to be Billionaires. This is an indication that money cannot give happiness, peace and lasting satisfaction.  “For true joy comes when there is dignity of labour,” says Pope Francis. He made this comment on the 1st of May 2013, to mark the International Labour Day which coincides with the Feast day of St. Joseph. Thus, anyone who is hardworking, contented and has God with him cannot but reap the fruits of his labour. He is fulfilled. He is satisfied, even after drinking garri. He sleeps well even without air condition (AC), and he walks freely without any body guard.

Beloved, our money, position or qualification cannot buy more time. Even those who claim to be millionaires cannot prolong life. Death takes no silver and wealth as a recompense or bribe. On his deathbed, Bob Marley’s last words to his son Ziggy in 1981 were, “Money cannot buy life.” What then does it profit man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul (Matt.16:26)? For vanity upon vanity, all is vanity. We return not with our wealth, position in the society, or academic qualifications, but with our good deeds.

An Igbo adage says, “Ezi afa ka ego.” It means that good name is greater than money. Thus, it is a call for us to use our money and everything we have to help the poor, support the Church and develop the society.  Hence, our life should be a model of hope, a reflection of love, peace, purity and integrity.

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