Riches Can Deceive You
1 Timothy 6:9-10
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Money solves a lot of problems. Need a new house? Bills you need to pay? Things you’d like to do? Money makes those kinds of things possible. Because money is legitimately useful, people will go to great ends to get it. The danger comes when we begin to think money is more important than it really is and begin to live our lives as if getting rich is a worthwhile life goal. What would you give up for riches? Is money worth a relationship with a friend? Is it worth your health? Is it worth the faith you profess in God?
If asked these sorts of questions point blank, none of us would likely say that money could be worth all those things. But, in practice, we often give up the most valuable things in our lives because we are pursuing money. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 describes the harm we will do to ourselves for money. Every day, life proves the Bible’s point. Bit by bit we invest more of ourselves into the desire and pursuit of money. And as we dedicate our energies and affections to riches, we take them away from places they should be. We don’t pray as we should or study God and His word, we neglect our family, or we stop taking care of our health. And then one day, we realize that all the money we have amassed hasn’t made us happy. In fact, while we’ve been trying to buy happiness, we’ve been deeply unhappy all along. When money distracts us and leads us away from God and the precious things in our lives, we have truly been deceived.
How can we avoid this deception? We need to remember always what money is actually good for. For example, money is good for taking care of physical needs. On the other hand, money cannot fill the deepest need of your soul which is to be reconciled to its Creator. Money is good for showing generosity to God and to others. Money cannot; however, buy you God’s love or the true love of others. Keep God and money in their proper place in your life and God will bless you in yours.
Today’s Generosity Challenge: Please take out your personal bank statements for the last 6 months and make a simple survey. Count each time you have eaten out (coffee, too), bought goodies, spent money on entertainment, and purchased gifts for yourself or others, or any other indulgence regardless of amount. Write this number down in your journal. Now do the same thing (regardless of amount) for each time your expenditures were for blessing others financially, or by giving gifts to your church, or to charities. Just by the number of transactions, which is the greater number? Now write a short action plan on your observations and what priorities need to be readjusted. Journal it below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.