Money as heavy chains? More isn't better
I have formulated/thought of a theological idea for practical application,I wanted to know other's opinions. I realize that if money was good,the more of it,the better. since God and logic make it so that,if something is good,the more of it the better. However,this would mean that the richest of people live the best of lives;this is not the case.
So, though of the opposite:the more money,the worse.  i know families must care for children and duties,etc. so this only applies to people who dont have Natural duties that require money.

maybe im just finding a mental-health way to cope for not being rich and not having much luxury in life, but also poverty is a virtue praised by many saints. Maybe i should seek a middle ground? I await your opinions.
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  • NoliTardare
I have never been "rich", at least as the term is usually applied in the U.S., though for many in the world, living in a safe and warm home with sufficient food would be considered as such.
I have lived at various points on the income scale, from low income to modestly comfortable. I am currently not working full time, so our income is reduced at this time.
In hindsight, having a bit more obviously makes life easier but not necessarily better.
To explain, not worrying about paying the electric bill is obviously better than hoping you have the funds when it's due.
Simply having more money available is in itself neither good or bad. Having more does remove a pressure point but doesn't inherently make you a happier person.
Too many people get caught up in the pursuit of more and are never quite satisfied with their present condition.
I think that spending your life in constant striving for the next level simply for the sake of accumulating more is also damaging to yourself and also to the long term development of your family and children if you have them.
Everyone has problems in their lives.
We have been indoctrinated that money will fix anything and the media presents the rich as having the world by the tail.
Observation of the rich and all of the mental health, substance abuse, serial marriages, etc. that they go through tells us that that isn't necessarily true.
“Tradition is so strong, that future generations will dream of what they never saw.” — G.K. Chesterton

"It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.”
Charles Peguy 
I would argue that money is a neutral, neither more is better nor more is worse. Money is a mirror though.

The more you have, the more the true self of a person is revealed. Money allows for a person to make their inner most desires become a reality. Think on it in both good and bad. On the good, large amounts of money is what financed missions, built churches, and allowed for the salvation of generations of souls. Many have the desire to spread the faith to the ends of the earth, to help build churches all over, but few if any have the means to see it through physically (ie, finance it). Think about a person that lives a quiet, good life, accumulates alot of money through moral means, and funds the creation of a church. The number of baptisms, marriages, conversions then, for generations to come, are given a physical avenue to happen, that church, due to the money that person was able to get.

Now, on the bad. We see this all the time. People all have temptations, desires etc that are evil. However, most people dont have any means of actually acting on them, as we dont have that power. Money though, allows a person to now act on those desires. Think of Hollywood, and the evils that have come to light there, for just one example.

Money gives man the means to see his base desires, wishes etc, come to reality. If they are geared on God, then the good that will come from it will stretch for generations. If those desires are not of God, then it will allow a person to corrupt themselves far more then someone with little money.
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  • Catherine
I use to make close to $100k a year and had a lot of debt for things I didn't need. I retired about 6 years ago and now live off of my military pension which is around $35k a year. The difference is that I have virtually no debt and live in a small apartment that's comfortable and easy to maintain.

I'm still able to save a little for travel and gifts for my grown kids.

I like the minimalist approach. I buy what I need and I try to keep what I need, everything else is a distraction.
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Poverty is an evangelical counsel, meant to remove from us attachments, so we become more attached to God, and are freed to serve Him more.

Poverty itself, though, is not a virtue, nor good. Look at all the poor people in the world. Are they holy?

When I was a very poor teacher living in a very poor inner city neighborhood, I can tell you that poverty did not sanctify most people. They lives hand to mouth, but whenever there was extra money, the car got decked out, and the jewelry proliferated. Never did the house get fixed, or the table get better food. Never did they become more charitable. Any extra money (usually from payday loans) immediately went to become more materialistic and wag in the face of others that they had gotten something.

It is easy to point the finger at rich people, because the fat-cat lifestyle does quickly breed opulence and greed, but it is not as if poverty, in itself is sanctifying, or even good.

Neither poverty, nor riches, do anything of themselves for or against our salvation. It is what we do with these that matters.

Poverty is good when it is offered to God as a means to get to Him. Riches are good when they are used to promote God's glory and help those in need. Either is evil when it is used to become materialistic and get further away from God.

I recall a priest once saying, and I think it is so true, "Money is dirt; but money is useful dirt."
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Well money isn't a virtue. There's no 'correct' or 'middle' amount of money to have. So I think it's a mistake to approach this by looking at money itself. Your interior state and relationship to God is what matters.
That being said, I think that poverty is the way to go for most people. Not because money is evil (it's neutral), but because most can't handle it prudently.
I personally think the passage where an otherwise virtuous rich man was told to sell all and follow Christ doesn't literally mean that money in itself is going to keep you from Heaven, but your attachment to it will. The rich man couldn't let go of his wealth.
By contrast, the widow's mite, though a tiny amount in currency, was a large amount in the eyes of Christ. She gave all she had, totally detached from worldly goods.

(10-13-2021, 01:25 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: I recall a priest once saying, and I think it is so true, "Money is dirt; but money is useful dirt."
I think this is the opposite of true. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the quote, but money has no inherent use. Try to eat some. Dirt is useful. All real wealth comes from the dirt, it is the source of our food and trees.
Of course, I agree that it is useful insofar as everyone agrees to use it as a medium of trade / token of value.
In itself money has no value. This in contrast to, say, an apple which has innate value in that it is a direct aid to nature. However, money’s conventional value as a medium of exchange is a real value - it just isn’t innate. 

Money is as valuable as the shelter it can facilitate, or the food, clothing, tools, education, on and on it can provide.  

It is true money is neither good nor bad. However, in abundance proportioned to goods available for exchange money can make possible an abundance of innately good things. So, if under godly stewardship, the more money the better. 

All the best
A child's well being is an all around solid investment with Hope .
Be content.
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  • jack89
There is such a thing as "golden handcuffs"

It's when a person has so much debt they have to work and work.
Not Christlike.

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