We talk a lot about health and wealth, as if they are the end all be all of measuring our value or success in life. Unfortunately both of those things are fading, changeable, and will always be measured by the person doing the measuring NOT the one being measured. Others will often and almost always have a different opinion than ours when it comes to what means healthy or wealthy.
Does healthy mean we can climb a mountain, run a marathon, or even swim the English Channel? If that is the measure of health then most of us are in big trouble. Health really means being well enough to do the things you want to do. It means to be able to support yourself physically, and being able to move when you want to move. It also means a stable mindset, a positive outlook, a mental state that supports the well being of our physical body. Our bodies were designed to live for many, many decades; therefore, it is up to us to take care of them. Keep moving, keep thinking, keep learning, keep growing.
So what does wealthy mean? Is it about our bank accounts, 401k balance, the property we own, or simply the possessions we have amassed while we have been alive. Is it about what we are leaving to the next generation? Is it about our charitable giving, our community investments, or even our ability to do or buy anything we want? Or is wealth more than about money, it is about our relationships? One is indeed wealthy when there are people you love around you, people who care and work to make your life better. Wealth is not about things, it is really about people.
When we give in to the idea that health and wealth are our sole way to measure our own success or value as a human being, we forget the most important thing we can control. We can control our character, the things we do when no one else is looking. Character is who we are not matter the circumstances, current fashions or people in our presence. It is about doing the right thing, the decent thing no matter what. And Billy Graham is right here, when we lose our character we lose everything. We may not know it right away, yet it will become evident in our lost opportunities, our lost relationships and our lost self esteem. Once lost character is VERY hard to repair. It takes only an instant to lose it and a lifetime to rebuild it.
Next time you are faced with a moment when your character is in play, do the right thing. The wealth and health of your entire life depends upon it. Protect and build your character in each and every decision you make no matter what. Once your character is lost…your health and wealth will be the least of your concerns.