Extravangant Wealth - Spiritual emptiness
Whatever Money Could Buy
Liberace lived garishly, spending more than $2 million a year on clothes for his Las Vegas acts. He would drive on stage in a mirrored Rolls-Royce, or pop out of a giant pink egg, or soar across the stage in a swirl of purple feathers. Offstage, he dressed conservatively, but thoroughly enjoyed spending money. He owned eighteen pianos, including instruments owned by Chopin and Gershwin; dozens of antique cars; a desk owned by the last Russian Czar; a collection of Napoleonic pieces; and a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in his bedroom. He stored the overflow in three warehouses. He owned twenty-one dogs, a Las Vegas restaurant, and had plans for an expanded park with a piano-shaped museum at its center.
Whatever money could buy! Except continued life. What are people missing who crave possessions? Who buy in extravagance? Is it security? Self-esteem? Spiritual purpose? Confidence? A sense of achievement and self-worth? Eliminating private property as a means of controlling greed is the socialist’s dream—but it is also impossible. Neither property nor possessions is wrong. Prosperity is no more intrinsically evil than impoverishment is virtuous. The Bible everywhere recognizes the right to private ownership. Possessions pose a danger only when we trust them to provide our self-esteem, security, and confidence. To identify these needs with anything or anyone but God is idolatry. He alone offers us our sense of worth. We are made in his image, and no amount of money can buy, replace, or restore that.
Hurley, V. (2000, c1995). Speaker's sourcebook of new illustrations (electronic ed.) (178). Dallas: Word Publishers.