Every week is fashion week for the students of SMU. There is always some party to go to, some new style to show off, or some new thing to buy. Money flows in and out of this school like water from a faucet and most of the students here are used to being given everything they want.
And because of this, they have fallen into a snare. They think the world is just a place to conquer and suck dry for their personal gain. And there is no lack of gain on this campus.
I am a broke college student. I will admit, I know very little about what it takes to earn a million dollars, or what it feels like to have a 401K, or what it feels like to own the most expensive version of anything.
I was brought up around people who had much, much less than what the average student on this campus has but those people seem to be much more content than the students here because when you sow insatiable greed and desire for money your harvest only reaps more desire for riches.
It is off-putting, to say the least, to be around people whose perspectives have been shaped so drastically by the money they have. I have been told by many that we, essentially, have no responsibility to our neighbors. That the world has become survival of the fittest and those who cannot earn, should shape up or ship out. Things like cars and phones and clothes are bought at the drop of a hat, without even a second thought.
I hate to lump people into categories because I know there are students here who the following statements do not apply to, but there is a sense of entitlement on this campus the likes of which I have never seen.
People are so clearly attached to their money, and the lifestyle it provides, and the connections it gets them that they fail to see what is so obvious: none of that matters. The days are evil and soon we are all going to die. I do not say this to sound morbid, I say it to remind everyone that no matter how good you feel today about your money, it can never give you the satisfaction that a life of worshiping and glorifying God can give you.
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). I want to be very clear that I do not think making a lot of money is an inherently malicious thing. Having the ability to work hard and earn wages is a blessing.
However, I do think that the attachment to wealth and the desire to garner riches is very damaging and causes only destruction. All things on heaven and earth belong to God (Psalm 24:1). And people who wish to be rich are only harming themselves and damaging their souls (1 Timothy 6:9). We can see examples of this not only in modern society, but in the Bible as well. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Greed is an insatiable lust.
I think what students at SMU need to start realizing is that the money they have or that their family has is not their money. It is God’s money. The One who blessed you with the ability to make money, also blessed you with a guidebook on what to do with it and it does not involve spending it to climb the social ladder or surrounding yourself with things.
These biblical truths apply to you whether you believe them or not. I realize this is a very controversial thing to say because society has taught us to believe that everybody is entitled to their own personal truth and should not be subject to any sort of overarching authority. This postmodern ideal has done nothing but degrade the authority of scripture and placed a grey area where there should only be black and white. It says in Luke 16, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Everything in this world is fleeting and the only thing we have left at the end of our days is our soul. And not even that belongs to us. Our days should be spent glorifying God in all that we do.
So students of SMU, go out into the world, work hard and earn money. But do not make money your idol.
McClaran is a first-year majoring in English and accounting.