Yesterday, I heard this great story on NPR, Wall Streeters Weigh Life After “Giant Pool of Money.” (By the way, I highly recommend last year’s NPR/This American Life story, The Giant Pool of Money in which they explain things like subprime mortgage securitization in understandable ways.)

During the height of the financial boom, a young mortgage broker named Glen was living what many would describe as “the good life.” Still in his 20s, Glen was earning six figures every month and partying like a rock-star – velvet ropes, Cristal, and all.

However, once the bubble burst, Glen lost everything — his job, his five cars, his two homes. But, somehow, in the process he discovered what really matters:

“I have been humbled,” he says today. “I mean, I’ve been forced to be humbled. I have a different outlook of what is important. I used to think that it mattered; it doesn’t. None of the monetary stuff that we are preconditioned to think is important matters.”

Instead of rolling up to a hot club with his entourage, Glen enjoys studying and spending time with his family.  It’s remarkable how even the tone of his voice sounds different from his living large days to today — one of the narrators even comments on how this sounds like a Hollywood film where the rich jerk learns a very important lesson about life.

Sometimes, failure is our greatest teacher. Losing can shape our souls in ways that success never could — developing humility, perspective on the temporary nature of wealth, valuing relationships over stuff.  As followers of Jesus, how much more should this be true of us (from Luke 9:23-25):

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self?

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