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June 12, 2020

“The Evils Which Money Brings Us”

“For if you compare all the other things from which we suffer, deaths, illlnesses, fears, desires, endurance of pains and toils, with the evils which money brings us, the latter will far outweigh the others….Let us learn to increase our self-restraint, to curb luxury, to moderate ambition, to soften anger, to regard poverty without prejudice, to practise frugality, even if many are ashamed of it, to apply to nature’s needs the remedies that are cheaply available, to curb as if in fetters unbridled hopes and a mind obsessed with the future, and to aim to acquire our riches from ourselves rather than from Fortune.” – “On Tranquillity of Mind,” in Seneca: Dialogues and Letters, ed. and trans. C.D.N. Costa (New York: Penguin Classics, rep. 2005), pp. 42-44)

Considering that Seneca was here advocating what is sometimes carelessly called “vain philosophy,” a category which is then superficially set in stark contradiction to Scripture, hear the Scriptures themselves:

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Tim. 6:7)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt. 6:34)

“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. ” (1 Tim. 6:9-10)