Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (commonly known as Neymar) has been transferred from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain for a world record fee of £198M.   If that figure isn’t mind boggling enough, his wages are astonishing, if not obscene!

£33.8 million a year
£650K a week
£92,860 a day
£3869 an hour
£64.50 a minute
£1.10 per second

In case you weren’t aware, Neymar is a footballer and entertains people by kicking a ball around and is sometimes known to score a goal!

£33.8 million a year!

I’m not jealous. Honestly.

But something is seriously wrong with our world when this amount of money is paid to a sportsman.  I know you can argue about market forces and supply and demand and all that stuff – but it doesn’t wash with me, I’m afraid.

It seems to be we live in an age where envy and desire are actively encouraged and, in the words of Michael Douglas’ character (Gordon Gecko) in the 1987 film Wall Street

Greed is good!

No it isn’t!

The 2008 financial crisis was created through the greed of US traders who created, bought and sold sophisticated mortgage backed securities to increase profits. We have all witnessed the pain and fallout caused by this insatiable greed for more: the bailing out of the Banks. Repossession, Redundancies and Recession.

The Sunday Times produces an annual ‘Rich List’ of the wealthiest individuals and companies in the UK and we are constantly aghast at the obscenely large salaries of professional athletes, chief executives and, just recently, BBC presenters! Broadcaster Giles Brandreth, commenting on Gary Lineker’s £1.8m salary, tweeted:

All I’ll say about Gary Lineker, from what I’ve seen of him in our local coffee shop, is that it doesn’t seem to make him very happy!

Many disgruntled presenters #NotOnTheList especially females ones, have expressed their anger over the disparity in their salaries.

It’s not money which is the root of all evil, as people often misquote, but the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).

One amusing story in the news recently was of a contractor who was repairing a Bank of America ATM in Corpus Christi, Texas and accidentally locked himself in.  He’d left his phone in his van and resorted to posting slips of paper through the money slot.  Most people thought it was a hidden camera prank and ignored the message until someone finally called the police who broke down the door and set him free! The contractor had a huge amount of money at his fingertips but it didn’t make him any happier or lessen his anxiety!

Saint Cuthbert, the 6C Bishop of Lindisfarne wrote:

If I could live in a tiny dwelling on a rock in the ocean, surrounded by the waves of the sea and cut off from the sight and sound of everything else I would still not be free of the cares of this passing world, or from the fear that somehow the love of money might still come and snatch me away.

Creating wealth can, for some, become an all-consuming passion that overshadows all that they do. It takes precedent over: families; church attendance; marriages; their Christian faith – over God himself.

The Wall Street Journal quoted an anonymous wit who defined money as:

An article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness. 

He might have wanted to add something about money being a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Matthew 6:24 tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve both God and money.  If God is our master than money will be our servant.  But if money is our master then we become the servants of money and money is an unforgiving master.  We start wasting our lives instead of investing in them.

Are you wasting your life or investing your life?  It’s your choice!