You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” I’ve spent some time thinking about that. So why is it so hard for a rich man to get to Heaven? And why is it so easy for camels. After all, the camels I’ve seen are much bigger than most rich men. Especially the two-hump kind of camel and especially when they’ve stored up a little extra.
I’ve noticed some things about rich men. I’ve seen rich men in many countries (I’ve been to Thailand, Mexico, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Colombia, not to mention the U.S. and Canada) and they are often the same. They walk differently. They talk differently. They have an air about them and it often stinks. Their source of satisfaction has become money, materialism and the things money brings. Money often speaks loud. Money brings power, success and prestige. It buys things, things and more things. Things that distract us from the real purpose of life, relationships, friendships, meaning and, above all God.
It’s not the money, though, that is really bad. It’s our attitudes toward it. Success and money often bring pride and I think that’s where the problem is. Pride. Of course, it’s not just rich men. Pride affects all of us, rich and poor. Because of our pride, we focus on ourselves. Our wants and our desires become our goals and we become sort of an idol that we worship. We don’t love others as much as we love ourselves. The never ending search for satisfaction and happiness, if only the in the short term, becomes the quest for all the little things we want that we think will finally make life better. And as we achieve and obtain all that we think we need, we don’t realize our need for a Savior, our need for Heaven. We have become self-sufficient. Living like that, in the end, we don’t really love God. We don’t seek Him as the only source of our true satisfaction. And it becomes much easier for a camel than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Maybe that’s kind of what the phrase means. Well it’s not just a phrase. It’s from the Bible, Matthew 19:24, NASB. It’s what Jesus said. It is truth. It is better to be rich in Christ than have wads of cash. Remember, eat two cookies and call me in the morning.