An article from the Reader’s Digest tells of a zoologist who designed an experiment in which an ape was introduced to the profit motive. To accomplish this, the specialist first taught the animal to draw and paint, and he found him to be capable of some rather admirable accomplishments. Then he started rewarding him by giving him peanuts for his work. Soon the ape was doing “any old scrawl” just to get the peanuts. The experimenter wryly observed, “I had introduced commercialism into the ape’s world and ruined him as an artist.”
We too forget something worthwhile whenever we become preoccupied with material returns. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek enjoyment out of life. The Scripture do not say that the profit motive is wrong in itself. But the problem is obvious. Living only for a bigger and better salary, home, car, or vacation doesn’t satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts. It may seem as if happiness and satisfaction will increase as we gain more and more possessions, but it doesn’t work that way. The writer of Ecclesiastes said that “he who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor be who loves abundance, with increase” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Earthly values are transient and can be lost in a moment of time. But lasting values will continue into the next life where they will endure forever!
Let’s acknowledge God in all our ways. By trying to do His will and living for Him, we become the kind of profit-seekers who please God. – Martin R. De Haan II
The world with all its treasure stores
Still leaves the soul unfed;
So weary, often sick at heart,
I turn to God instead. – Nordland
Worldly values are a poor investment – they never pay what they promise.
- June 13, 1987, Our Daily Bread