If money can’t buy it, what does bring happiness? Today, Howard Dayton, founder of the ministry Compass--Finances God’s Way, joins Rob West to talk about his book, "Your Money Counts," and specifically a chapter entitled, "What’s Really Important." And it’s pretty safe to say that it’s not money. Howard points out that King Solomon, the richest man in the world in his day, obviously was in a position to know whether money would bring happiness, and he didn't hesitate to say that riches do not bring true happiness. But most Americans don’t believe it. No matter their income level, Americans say they need about 40 percent more than they make. The Bible offers a sharp contrast to this attitude. As someone has said, Money will buy ●A bed but not sleep ●Books but not brains ●Food but not an appetite ●A house but not a home ●Medicine but not health ●Amusement but not happiness ●A crucifix but not a Savior. In fact, wrong attitudes about what money can and can’t do can be dangerous. Money itself is not evil. It’s morally neutral. It can be used for good or bad. But 1 Timothy 6:10 reads, "The LOVE of money is a root of all sorts of evil." The Bible doesn't condemn money itself, only the misuse of it or a wrong attitude toward it. Christians often embrace one of two extremes. Some say if you’re really spiritual, you must be poor because wealth and a close relationship with Christ can’t coexist. The second and opposite extreme is the belief that if a Christian has enough faith, he or she will enjoy uninterrupted financial prosperity. The Bible doesn't say that a godly person must live in poverty. A godly person may have material resources. But study the life of Joseph. He’s the classic example of a faithful person who experienced both prosperity and poverty. He was born into a prosperous family, then was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He became a household slave in a wealthy Egyptian's home. His master later promoted him to head the household, but then threw him into prison when he suspected him of having an affair with the master’s wife even though he was innocent of the charge. Later, in God's perfect timing, Joseph was elevated to the position of prime minister of Egypt. God may choose to withhold blessing for three main reasons: 1. Due to violating a Scriptural principle. 2. To build godly character. 3. As part of the mystery of God’s sovereignty. Hebrews 11 lists people who triumphed miraculously by exercising their faith in the living God, but in verse 36 we discover godly people who lived by faith and gained God's approval, yet experienced poverty. The Lord ultimately chooses how much to entrust to each person. And sometimes we simply can't understand or explain His decisions. True prosperity extends far beyond material possessions. True prosperity is gauged by how well we know Jesus Christ and by how closely we follow Him. God’s Word teaches that true joy is based on my relationship with Christ. In Him alone will I trust. If I am rich, I should be generous and ready to share. Howard Dayton is the founder of Compass--Finances God’s Way, and the former host of MoneyWise. You can learn more about his ministry at Compass1.org. LISTENER QUESTIONS: Next, Rob answers the following listener questions: ●My husband is 70 and wants to retire soon. I’m 72 and disabled. We have a house that we’d like to pay off using an inheritance that he just received, but paying it off would only leave us with about $30,000 in savings. The mortgage is a variable rate mortgage and the monthly payments are quite high. Should we pay it off? ●If we close a credit card account, will it lower our credit score? Our credit card company is threatening to close our account due to inactivity. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website.