Monday, November 1, 2010

Belief and Relief

A wealthy old man was on his deathbed. His personal doctor had earned much by providing him expensive but unnecessary treatment. His lawyer also used to rob him by dragging him into unnecessary issues and providing expensive legal advice. The old man was aware of their actions. He summoned both the doctor and the lawyer to his deathbed and asked them to stand on either side of the bed. “I wish to die like Jesus”, he said, reminded of the death of Jesus on the cross in between two thieves.

The two persons in the story may be exceptions to their professions, as we find several doctors and lawyers who provide dedicated service, in tune with the whisper of their conscience. But there are many whose belief is in God, but their relief is in their money.

Russel. H. Conwell, in his classic, “Acres of Diamonds” tells the tale of a wealthy man, Ali Hafed, who sold his lands and spent his wealth in search of diamonds. He lost everything and died in poverty. The person who purchased his lands accidentally discovered a shining pebble in the land originally owned by Ali Hafed. It was identified as a costly diamond. Later several similar diamonds were collected from the land and in course of time the land developed into a famous diamond mine. The new owner of Ali Hafed’s lands amassed a great fortune. Ali who left in search of wealth died in poverty on the beach of the Bay of Barcelona.

Many people have been ruined because of their craving for money. Money is a trap for those who are fascinated by it, a trap that every fool falls into. P.T. Barnum said that money is like fire: it is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.

Jesus Christ taught, “No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” We waste a major share of our time, health and energy to amass fame, wealth and glory.

Money may fetch us amusement, but not happiness; a bed, but not sleep; books, but not brains; a car, but not safety; companions, but not friends; education, but not wisdom; flattery, but not respect; food, but not appetite; a house but not a home; luxuries, but not culture; medicines, but not health; ornaments, but not beauty; a violin, but not music.

Let us save our riches in heaven.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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