We’ve all heard it said that money is not the most important thing in life but it sure does beat whatever is in second place. In Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 compares the value of money with the value of wisdom. First it acknowledges that 14 moneywealth passed down to the next generation is a good thing. Everyone would acknowledge this. But Solomon argues that, wisdom along with an inheritance is even better. He then says that both money and wisdom provide shelter. But the shelter that wisdom provides is far better than the kind of shelter money provides. So then these verses continue Solomon’s teaching on the “better” things in life. I think Solomon is saying that wisdom is better than money because money has the potential to destroy life rather than preserve it. One of the founders of Dallas Theological Seminary, W. H. Griffith Thomas said, “Making of money is necessary for daily living, but money-making is apt to degenerate into money-loving and then the deceitfulness of riches enters into and spoils our spiritual life.”

Paul gave his young disciple similar instruction in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. He said, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Money may be a shelter in some ways but its roof and walls are full of holes. You can never fully trust it. But wisdom is a much more secure shelter. Strong men can’t rob you of it. Deceitful men can’t cheat you out of it. No economic down turn can take it away from you. David Jeremiah said it this way, “It’s interesting how few people we see who possess both wisdom and wealth. Wealth without wisdom can result in misery; wisdom can give perspective on the right use of wealth. One is actually better off poor than to have wealth with no wisdom.

What wisdom does that wealth can’t do is give us a quality of life totally independent of our financial status or circumstances. Jesus reminded us in Luke 12:15, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” As old and common as these clichés are they are still true: Money can buy land, but not love; bonds, but not brotherhood; gold, but not gladness; silver, but not sincerity; hospitals, but not health; condominiums, but not character; houses, but not homes; timber, but not truth. Money can purchase commodities, but not comfort; ranches, but not righteousness; ships, but not salvation; and hotels, but not heaven. To save your money you must share it; to love it is to lose it; and to invest it forever, you must put it in things eternal.