March 13, 2013
READ: 1 Timothy 6:8-19
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit (Proverbs 23:4).
The Internet is crawling with ‘get rich quick’ schemes—adverts that promise loads of cash with little effort and/or skills required. Simply apply the special techniques offered in their training material, and it won’t be long before you’re independently wealthy—or so they say. And you can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your home! Hmm . . .
The curious, desperate and the naïve are the ones who typically fall prey to such outlandish offers. The wary, however, can see right through scams. They know that there’s no such thing as ‘easy money’. But even they, if they’re not careful, can fall into the trap of wearing themselves out by chasing long and hard after wealth.
The book of Proverbs states, “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5).
Whatever approach we take to earning money, the apostle Paul warned, “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). Paul goes on to note that some who “love” money “have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (v.10). This parallels what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower—that the lure and deceitfulness of wealth makes us unfruitful for God’s kingdom (Matthew 13:22).
It’s true that we must earn money to pay for the basic necessities of life. Cash can also be used to help the needy and bring a little bit of heaven to earth and the “least of these” (25:40). But a love affair with getting rich will only wear us out and ruin our testimony for Jesus. —Jeff Olson
Note what King Solomon wrote about those who “love money” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
What is your biggest struggle with money? How can you use it for Jesus’ glory instead of your own desires and ambitions?