Steve Scalici is a Certified Financial PlannerTM and Vice President of Treasure Coast Financial. He is co-host of a daily radio show called “God’s Money” which can be heard at www.oneplace.com. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 1-800-728-6342. His website is www.tcfin.com
The Donald Way Not the Best
By Steve Scalici
Vice President of Treasure Coast Financial
I must confess, I watch a reality TV show. Can you guess which one? If you guessed “The Apprentice,” you’d be right. One of the reasons I watch the show is that you can learn a lot about business management just by tuning in every week, and since I’ve been interested in the field of business since I was a kid, this show has huge appeal. I guess I was the Alex P. Keaton of my family.
The fact is reality shows are not very real. The first reality show I ever watched was “Survivor.” I was quickly disappointed when I learned that the show was not about surviving, but rather about forming alliances and whining and complaining. I didn’t watch that show for very long. I think that’s why I like “The Apprentice.” You see real people competing against each other, and the alliances made so popular by “Survivor” don’t live long in the board room. “The Apprentice” has some of the backbiting and complaining that I don’t care for, but it’s not the purpose of the show. The purpose of the show is to have teams compete against each other while looking for ways to make the most profitable business.
The “Donald Way” of doing business
One thing that fascinates me about the show is “The Donald” himself. Now, don’t mistake my fascination for adoration. I’m just very interested in the way this man behaves. I laugh each week as he informs the teams (and the 10 million viewers) that he is the best and that everything he has always has to be the biggest and best. Though I may not agree with Donald Trump’s way of doing business, it’s hard to argue with the financial results. Based on numbers alone, the “Trump Way” of doing business makes a lot of sense. Based on the Bible, however, it makes little sense. I’m reminded of the parable in Luke where the rich young man is building bigger barns.
A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing. So he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store everything. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’”
But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?” Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (Luke 12:16–21, NLT)
When I read that parable, Donald Trump immediately comes to mind. His life is consumed by his accumulation of wealth. Jesus makes it clear. You are a fool if you store up earthly wealth but don’t have a rich relationship with God. Lest I be accused of attacking Donald Trump, he is not the only person I’ve seen with this attitude. The truth is that many of us are driven by our pursuit of material possessions. As a financial planner, I have met with hundreds of individuals and families over the years, and the one constant is that we all have some element of materialism in us. The Bible is clear that materialism has no place in our lives.
You can’t take it with you
Matthew records Jesus’ words: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be” (Matthew 6:19–21).
We spend an awful lot of time worrying about what we will eat; what we will wear; what kind of car we drive; what kind of house we will live in; and the list goes on and on. Jesus says don’t put your effort here on Earth. He tells us to think eternally.
Randy Alcorn, author of “The Treasure Principle” says, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” The ancient Egyptians didn’t believe this. As a matter of fact, their kings would be buried with thousands of pounds of gold.
In 1922, anthropologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut. What Carter found was quite impressive. King Tut was buried with solid gold chariots and thousands of golden artifacts. His gold coffin was found within gold tombs within gold tombs within gold tombs. You see, the Egyptians believed you could take it with you.
What about you?
I think many of us behave like those ancient Egyptians. Sure, we may not ask to be buried with masses of gold, but we cling to the things of this world as if we could take them with us. Many wealthy people have come before Donald Trump and the story seems to be the same. Money does not bring happiness. Read what some of the wealthiest people in our country had to say about their money:
“The care of $200 million is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it.”
“I am the most miserable man on earth.” –John Jacob Astor
“Millionaires seldom smile.” –Andrew Carnegie
“I was happier when I was doing a mechanic’s job.”
This is not new information. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth – except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!”
Too many of us yearn to be an apprentice to people like Donald Trump. We should, in fact, be pursuing an apprenticeship with Jesus. Who are you following?
Steve Scalici is a Certified Financial Planner and Vice President of Treasure Coast Financial. He is co-host of a daily radio show called “God’s Money” which can be heard at www.oneplace.com. You can contact Steve at email@example.com or via telephone at 1-800-728-6342. His website is www.tcfin.com.
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