We live in a extremely materialist culture. Money has become an idol and much is measured by how much of it we have.
I get sucked into this. It isn’t pretty. I like my stuff and I want more of it. I love having money to get it all. I am covetous. I am not content with what I have.
There is good news. Jesus sets me free from all of this. I have victory in Him.
Wanting to be rich describes a person who has to have more and more material things in order to be happy and feel successful. But riches are a trap; they lead to bondage, not freedom. Instead of giving satisfaction, riches create additional lusts (desires); and these must be satisfied. Instead of providing help and health, an excess of material things hurts and wounds. The result Paul described very vividly: “Harmful desires … plunge men into ruin and destruction”. It is the picture of a man drowning! He trusted his wealth and “sailed along,” but the storm came, and he sank.
It is a dangerous thing to use religion as a cover-up for acquiring wealth. God’s laborer is certainly worthy of his hire, but his motive for laboring must not be money. That would make him a “hireling,” and not a true shepherd. We should not ask, “How much will I get?” but rather “How much can I give?”
- 1 Timothy 6:9–10 —But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
- Hebrews 13:5 —Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
- Proverbs 10:2 —Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death.
- Proverbs 22:16 —He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
- Proverbs 28:20 —A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.
- Proverbs 28:22 —A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.
- Proverbs 30:8–9 —Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Master?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 235). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.