Yesterday I posted about the SF Chronicle article that argued in favor of gaming the system to get lower payments on your mortgage.
I realized as I was at home and with friends that from the title of the post, it may have seemed that I was advocating not paying your mortgage.
This was not my intention at all.
Viewing Money and Wealth as a Tool
I believe that there are many things in life more important than money.
My love for Jesus helps me to view money not as and end in itself. Money is a tool that allows me to eat, stay warm, and accomplish bigger goals in life.
Wealth is not an end in itself. Wealth (an abundance) makes eating, staying warm, and accomplishing bigger goals easier. It can often provide an easier solution to the problems that we may face.
A Good Reputation is More Valuable Than Gold
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold. – King Solomon
Thousands of years ago King Solomon wisely wrote that a good reputation is more valuable than great riches. Riches and wealth may come and go, but a person’s reputation can outlast their life.
A good reputation is an inheritance that even a poor man can pass along to future generations.
Keeping Our Word
Keeping promises is something more important than money.
A mortgage is a contract or promise between two people. The lender promises to lend money to the borrower in return for an interest payment. The borrower promises to repay and compensate the lender with interest for the use of the money.
Should a borrower purposely stop paying their mortgage or lower their income in an effort to get “better terms” or a “more affordable” monthly payment they are going back on their promise to repay their debt.
Doing it Right
Most of the time I am a stickler for doing things “the right way”. This has a tendency to frustrate those closest to me who may just want to get the task accomplished.
Accomplishing tasks with excellence breeds a sense of personal accomplishment over a job well done. No corners were cut, no task was left undone, this project is fully completed.
Getting a better mortgage payment may be financially better now. People might think you are crazy to not take advantage of the situation.
It can be done right, or it can be cut short.
If “shortcuts” are taken, we truly only short change ourselves.
Blinded By Nearsightedness
Too often it is easy to look at the near term benefits and forget the long term consequences when thinking about our money and finances. I too often fall into this trap. I look for the easy fix now, rather than the long term benefit.
The current government loan modification may cause us to be blinded to the long term consequences on our character and the character of future generations.
Subtly, we may be teaching those that respect us the lesson that doing whatever it takes to make more money and acquire more stuff is the highest and best goal and anything should be done to accomplish it.
Wealth in the Journey not the Destination
The pursuit of wealth and all that is shiny can be so very attractive for what it offers. However, the journey to achieving wealth is probably just as important as the wealth itself.
Wealth alone cannot produce character, while the journey to wealth can.
Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars. – Warren Buffett
In the journey we develop character, perseverance, and humility. So let’s enjoy the journey, keep our promises, and do it right.