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The Spiritual Backbone

For some people the stock market is akin to the Day of Judgment, offering condemnation or redemption. Such judgment, if you allow it to, can break your spiritual backbone: you begin relating to other people (and even to yourself) as a commodity. If you lose the "I-Thou" relationship, converting to "I-It," you simply will manipulate others and use every available instrument to dominate and shape friends, family, and coworkers into becoming whom you desire them to be. This perversion may even convince some people to give up their identities and accept the roles assigned by the manipulator.

The Bible says, Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (Eccles. 5:10) This meaninglessness takes the form of a frantic existence in which unholy people pursue their goals by every means available (including ethically and legally questionable ones). They consider cheating, lying, and deceiving as legitimate means of pursuing their goals. They will betray friends, colleagues, and even members of their own families. For them there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests-their own. But sooner or later their deceptive practices are revealed, and such unholy people become abhorred. No one "delights" in their works, no matter how impressive their accomplishments or how generous the use of their wealth.

The Bible says, Dishonest scales are disgusting to the Lord, but accurate weights are pleasing to him. (Prov. 11:1)

Those with unholy purposes are relatively free from anxiety because they feel no sense of guilt and shame. They become anxious only if threatened, such as when found guilty in a legal sense. As soon as the threat dissipates, they continue the questionable behavior. They believe only in the impersonal imperatives of profit. This nihilism generates self-corrupting aimlessness and an inner lawlessness. The best-known of these people are featured regularly in scandals reported in the business section of newspapers. One unscrupulous man had the audacity to misuse a biblical quotation as an explanation for his predatory business behavior: Be as cunning as snakes. (Matt. 10:16)

Unholy purposes are devotions without virtue: they are fueled by furious passions, vile excesses, and frenzied pursuits. Those who pursue unholy purposes experience (at best) a counterfeit ecstasy in the worship of their goals and themselves. What they experience is a perversion of the soul, an uneasiness of mind, a privation of good, all of which culminate in the stagnancy of the spirit. Acquiring anything near their goal, which is itself a moving target, does not bring gratification to those with unholy purposes, but only echoes their core unhappiness.

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And, you might enjoy reading what the Master had to say about wealth, and its proper usage HERE and HERE. You can also go to our convenient search feature to find even more Urantia Book wisdom about wealth.

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