How many kings visited Jesus when he was born? Were these visitors kings in the first place?
And what did their gifts mean?
Wikipedia says that it was convenient for tradition to come up with three magi because there were three types of gifts. The word “magi” ultimately refers to the Persian priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. These priests focused on the stars and gained a reputation for astrology, which was then highly regarded as a science and hence the term wise men. According to Wikipedia, the reference to the magi being kings was probably linked to Psalms 72:11, which states, “May all kings fall down before him”.
As to the gifts, the spiritual meanings were: gold represents kingship on earth; frankincense a perfume and a symbol of deity; and myrrh an embalming oil and a symbol of death.
But let’s focus on the three kings’ wisdom. To me, what made the magi truly wise was their burning desire to follow the star that they knew would lead them to a treasure much greater than what they were carrying. There were probably times when their sight of the star would be hampered by cloudy skies. They could have been confused as well with the billions of other stars blinking in the night. And during the day, bright sunlight could have easily drowned the shine from the brightest of stars. Yet, their course remained as it was originally charted. And eventually, they reached their destination.
Personal finance starts with a star that serves as the guide towards the goals that are to be achieved throughout a lifelong journey. And just like with the magi, the vision of the star, which could be translated into the financial instruments that would lead to achieving life’s goals may be clouded or drowned by market noise, just like when the price of a stock or even the level of the stock market index goes into a seeming freefall.
But if a person holds fast to the financial course he had originally charted, all things being equal, just like the magi, he too will reach his destination. This means being unwavering in the decision to pay himself first, fight against the irrational use of debt, unselfishly provide for his loved ones through life insurance with the chance of his untimely death, and prudently invest his hard-earned savings.
And most important of all, if the person realizes that brilliant stars (i.e. money and returns thereon) are not goals in and of themselves but mere guides, then he would truly be as wise as the three kings.
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(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)