In June 2020, the family of Alexander Kearns was dismayed to learn of his death by suicide. He woke up in the morning to discover his account balance was overdrawn by $730,000. He left a note behind that communicated that this negative balance caused him to think he had no way out and to end his life (Matt Egan, “Apparent Suicide by 20-Year-Old Robinhood Trader Who Saw a Negative $730,000 Balance Prompts App to Make Changes,” CNN, June 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/19/business/robinhood-suicide-alexkearns/index.html). This sad story is—we can hope—an extreme illustration, but how often do we see someone pursuing wealth to the extent of damaging and destroying their life or the lives of those around them? How many members of our church either had an absent, workaholic parent or themselves struggle with being present for their family as they invest more and more of their time into the pursuit of money. In discussing this topic, be sure to show sensitivity to those who must work many hours for survival; their willingness to do so for their family’s well-being is, of course, honorable. What we have in view here is the endless pursuit of acquisition so common to Western society, especially in the United States.
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