Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do You Desire To Be Rich?

Yesterday, I started a short series on money. I have been impacted personally by studying the life of King Solomon. It is an understatement to say that he was rich! The first question I asked was whether you thought about money as much as I think about money. Sometimes I find myself being consumed by it. And yet the Bible consistently says that the things of God are so much greater than money or gold. I ended the last post by asking how we can choose God even in all the blessings that we have been given. How can we follow Him when He has put us in a place where we have lots of money and lots of opportunities to make more money?

I think it starts where all things start. In the heart. Do you desire to be rich? Is it the motivation for your job? If you want to worship God as you live in a world of prosperity, then I would suggest that you constantly deal with your heart's desire to be rich. If you desire to be rich, it will cause problems in your life. Notice these somber words from the Apostle Paul.
"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
He makes it very clear that the results of wanting to get rich (or let's just call it what it is--GREED) are a downward spiral away from the Lord. 

First, the greedy fall into temptation. If your desire is to be rich, you will fall for temptations when it comes calling to you. 

Second, the temptations lead to a snare. You are now trapped. Maybe you are trapped into materialism or maybe simply the enjoyment of a good life. Maybe you are trapped in some sort of moral compromise. 

Third, the snare results in many foolish and harmful desires. This has to do with longings or cravings. These desires are harmful because of what they do to you. They grab you and take hold of you. Greed is an addiction and money is the drug. If you desire it, the more you have of it, the more you will want of it.

Fourth, these desires plunge men into ruin and destruction. These desires will sink your life. Paul says they will sink you into ruin and destruction. These two terms are similar, but probably have a small difference in nuance. Ruin probably has to do with the flesh (see 1 Cor. 5:5). Destruction has to do more with the soul. It does seem like Paul is saying that those who desire to get rich will ultimately find themselves sinking into the destruction of their physical bodies and spiritual souls.

Maybe this is why Jesus warns: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul" (Mark 8:36)? The person who desires to get rich ends up plunging themselves into ruin and destruction of their soul. Is that what you want? Then go upstream and stop it before it becomes a raging river. Start with your desires to be rich.

How do you do that? Well, we will talk more about that tomorrow.

Question: How Strong Is Your Desire To Get Rich?

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