Some people have enough money to burn. Others seem to have enough to simply throw down the toilet. Such was the case the other day with Kodak Black, a 24-year-old rapper, who was recorded throwing hundred-dollar bills off a boat into the ocean.
According to complex.com, “It’s unclear how much money Kodak threw altogether, but some people online are claiming it’s somewhere north of $100,000. As if that wasn’t wasteful enough, Kodak proceeded to throw more money away Wednesday morning. In the short clip posted on Twitter, he is seen putting about $1,000 into a toilet bowl before flushing the money.”
Apparently, this publicity stunt had something to do with a feud Kodak Black was having with another rapper. Perhaps this was a form of boasting: “I don’t need you—I’ve got so much money, I can throw some of it away.” Some interpreted the stunt as an anti-Capitalist statement. Another tweeted: “$100K in Haiti could build homes for the almost 60,000 people who were left homeless and living in camps since 2010.” When young people become rich fast, they don’t always appreciate the value of a dollar.
The Book of Proverbs says, “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Since the rest of us spend so much of our time working hard to make money, it’s worthwhile to think through a few key principles about wealth, from a Judeo-Christian perspective:
1. Money is a means of exchange. In previous times, shells, tobacco, and other things were used in place of money.
2. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone had to pay for that lunch. If the government provides some sort of social welfare payment to Citizen A, it does so at the expense of Citizen B.
3. Capitalism is a system that allows people to reap and retain the fruit of their own hard work and has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. Socialism and Communism, meanwhile, have plunged hundreds of millions into poverty—while autocratic leaders enjoy a lifestyle beyond the wildest dreams of the average person.
4. The greatest among us is the servant of all. Money and prosperity often come to those who find creative ways to serve those around them (in a system that allows and rewards such things).
5. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
6. He who loves money can never get enough money.
7. Those who chase get-rich schemes rather than earning money through work, deceive themselves in the long run. Lottery winners consistently find that it was the worst thing that ever happened to them. They lost friends, blew money on frivolous things, and were poor before they knew it.
8. Slow and steady beats chasing fantasies. People value money much more when they work hard for it.
9. You can’t take it with you. Even if you’re buried with gold (like the pharaohs were), what is that to a corpse? What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
10. Give a nice portion of what you make to charity (at least 10%).
11. Save a nice portion of what you make for the future.
12. Make more money than you spend.
13. Avoid debt as much as you can.
14. If you have debts, pay the smallest one off first.
15. Don’t ever worry about “keeping up with the Joneses.” If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you should see their water bill.
16. Read and study Proverbs every day. It will change your life.
17. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
18. Personal peace of mind exceeds a fat paycheck.
19. God owns it all. We are just stewards who will one day give an account.
When I heard about Kodak Black’s stunt of throwing tens of thousands of dollars into the ocean, I couldn’t help but think of a music video from another singer a few years ago.
I confess I had never heard of Drake until he filmed a music video in Miami, and I personally knew someone who worked on it. The song was called “God’s Plan,” and videographers captured Drake walking around Miami giving thousands of dollars to real people in need.
Generosity with money indeed fits “God’s plan” much more than just throwing money away to make some point—a point lost on the rest of us who struggle to pay our bills and just make a living.
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air host. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). www.djkm.org? @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com