The urge to splurge

It is a strange fact that sometimes children of well-to-do families filled with money in their pockets because the doting parents do not have much time for them, do not know what to do with their time and energy. 

When there is money you would always have a good supply of friends who would be more in the style of hangers on and who would be ready to disappear the moment they notice that their so-called friend’s money supply is dwindling. But while they are with him they would encourage him to throw his money around and the wayward young man and young lady for that matter would be tempted to keep up the semblance of having much money which they are ready to throw around just keep with them their friends. They splurge the money wherever they go be it in shopping or in hotel.

The next thing they would notice is their friends introducing them to drugs and drinks.

Now the money is really down and to get more they have their doting parents and it could happen that here too they find the money is too slow in coming and now the temptation is to steal or even rob if it becomes necessary. How often we find they end up in crime and of course their friends would quickly disappear and wash their hands off.

Jesus in the Gospels portrays one such young man and his misadventure in life (read Luke 15. 11-24).

But the story has a happy ending with the young man coming to his senses, being truly converted returns to his father and is reconciled and Besides such extreme cases there are also, today, individuals who earn big money in their foreign based companies or who do so well in their business venture that plenty of money comes in and sometimes a certain ennui invades their life.

They may suddenly start indulging in throwing around their money just for the fun of it or to make a great impression on people around them. The urge to splurge is on them. There are also other individuals who may not themselves be extravagant but their wives are caught in this urge to splurge.

They feel impelled to keep up with the Jones and buy things unnecessarily, easily run up a big debt. Why buy things that you do not need so very urgently? There are better ways of spending our extra money, what we perhaps do not need. There are many worthy causes which we could support with our money. Such charity will obtain God’s mercy towards us when the going gets hard.

 Jesus gives this advice: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into eternal homes” (Luke 16.9).

Here of course ‘dishonest wealth’ does not mean wrongfully obtained wealth but wealth that is extra truly belongs not to me but to the poor. Social justice demands that if I own half the world’s wealth then I must look after the welfare of half the world’s people.

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