On Contentment, Making Do with What You Have, and Time vs. Money

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So as I had noted yesterday, I’ve been doing some thinking and talking with those around me. Time verse MoneyAn associate and I have been discussing things. Now that these ideas have had some time to gel in my mind, I’ve formed something of a dissenting argument.

The question posed to me by my associate has been, “What would you do if you had all the money in the world?” Better still, and I’ve heard this question before, “How could you bless your church if money were not an option?” Now the first time this question was posed to me (12 years ago), there was something of a foreboding spirit about it, suggesting that one has greater capacity to do good, if they have an abundance of monetary means. This recent reminder of that first claim, didn’t seem as ill advised, but I feel that there is still something off about it.

I recently read a business book that talked about how working extra hard at your business pursuits during the first third of your expected time in the workforce (approximately 40 years?) in entrepreneurial pursuits would render greater freedom and flexibility during the latter two-thirds. This makes sense, and has been factually proven to work. However, the first third of anyone’s expected time during the work force years is also typically the time that is given to spend raising a young family. Is that timing coincidental? Of course not. But there is a very interesting question that we are called upon to consider, and the course we choose ultimately leads to greater peace or dissappointment afterwards.

The question is this: What is of greater value, time or money? Perhaps you are tempted to respond that time is money, money is time. Oh fools, if you have thought to devalue your time to the equivalent of money. Our time, is of far greater value than money. How we choose to use our time, and taking control of that freedom that comes from separating our time from our money, is the great test of life. It is the ultimate factor in determining our true happiness.

No matter how much money I have, I cannot pay, or even pay to train another person, to go and check on a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in a while. Recently, I did just that. I found myself on that occasion up in Phoenix. I had worked three hours making a decent amount of money for the day’s work. I had another visit with another potential client. Then at 3pm in the afternoon, I decided to check in a friend that I hadn’t seen for a while. I was able to do that because I had arranged my work style so that I could have a greater abundance of time, not money.

Now another challenge that arises from having more of an abundance of time then money is that there are some things that we have to do without. Put in a more positive light, we make do with what we have. And when the seasons come that we do enjoy a little more abundantly than at other times, we make sure that we prepare for when the next drought comes.

If the two chief purposes of this life are to acquire knowledge of both things in Heaven and things on earth, and then to acquire and develop relationships, then it is my humble opinion that time, not money, is a much greater resource.

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Brent is married to a very supportive woman, is father of a large family, and went into business for himself in 2006.

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