Since much of our life has an international flavor to it, I am always interested in studies that compare different countries and talk about the best places to live. A few times a year, different reports get published about the cost of living in various cities. A recent survey from a Swiss bank compared purchasing power around the world. Essentially, it asked where someone can get the most value for their money. Here are a few insights:
- An iPhone X costs twice as much in São Paulo as in Panama City
- It’s eleven times more expensive to have dinner out in New York City than in Lagos
- Jakarta is the best place to go to the movies
- Turkey is the cheapest place to buy your chicken (ironic, isn’t it?)
- For the price of one stamp in Denmark, you can mail 18 letters in India
These surveys are interesting, but ultimately no help when it comes to obtaining what is really important in life. In the book of Proverbs,
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice.” (Proverbs 1:20)
And yet no one is interested in receiving this wisdom. The people “would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof.” (Proverbs 1:30)
The book of Proverbs reminds us that we should pursue the important things in life. There is no price that can be put on gaining wisdom and insight. We are encouraged to “seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures.” (Proverbs 2:4) Otherwise, we will come to demonstrate the foolishness and folly of the world around us.
So don’t worry about the price of gas in Italy or ground beef in Cape Town; seek wisdom and find real treasure. Don’t stop learning and growing in the fear and knowledge of God.