Surviving Without Money

Daniel Suelo of Moab, Utah claims he has “figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place.” (Source: Details.Com)

Image source: Details.Com

Almost 10 years ago, he just decided to quit money. He lives in a cave. He eats wild plants, grubs, lizards and roadkill. He also scavenges leftovers in the garbage in a nearby desert town. Yet, he is no crazy hermit. He has a degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado. 

But a tour with the Peace Corps in an Ecuadoran village jolted him. Tasked to monitor the health of the villagers, he saw how they sank as they took on “the economics of modernity.” With the earnings from their produce, they bought things they didn’t really need. Suelo sadly noted, “The more they spent, the more their health declined. It looked like money was impoverishing them.” (Ibid)

Image source: BBC World
Mixing Christianity and Buddhism, he then decided to give up on money. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking. Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.” (Ibid) Suelo grants that money is not evil. He wrote in his blog (which he maintains through the free internet in a public library), “Money is illusion. Illusion is neither good nor evil. Attachment to illusion is evil. Attachment to illusion is called idolatry.” (Ibid) Now, I believe living below one’s means is better than living within. But I do find “zero currency” way too extreme for me. 

Image source:

Before anyone of us would attempt to do away with money, I think we need to revisit what the Bible really says about wealth. It is interesting that in 16 out of the 38 stories (or 1 in every 3 parables), our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on wealth. And in 1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospels, He taught about financial management. That’s more than verses on heaven and hell combined! There are 2,350 verses on wealth in the Bible—twice as many as the verses on faith and prayer. That doesn’t mean that money can usher us to heaven or doom us to hell. That doesn’t mean that a wealthy person has more faith or a poor person does not pray. 

My take? What we do with the material things God gave us are important to Him.


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