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Are You Richer Than You Think?

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Here's why social capital may be even more valuable than financial capital.

I have been troubled by the attitudes I saw during a recent Powerball craze, when the jackpot hit over $1 billion.  So many people decided to jump into the madness of buying a chance to get rich.  At a recent dinner party, one of our guests was asked about his business, and his reply was very wise.  He said, “I don’t make a lot of money, but I have great social capital.  It is more important to me than money.” 

There was a lot of Biblical wisdom in that statement. 

In Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

In Proverbs 19:1: “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.” 

Do you treat others with respect? Are you honest in the smallest of financial dealings? Would you take advantage of someone else to gain a financial advantage?  Are you available to help others in need? Are you there to serve when those in your life are experiencing a hardship?  These actions and attitudes build social capital, a network of people ready to help you in your time of need.

One reason I don’t play the lottery is the idea that everyone else must lose so that I can benefit.  That is not the way God wants us to live our lives. God wants us to live so that everyone can benefit from our lives. That builds strong social capital -- and in the final analysis will make us wealthier, happier and healthier than all the money in the world.

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