DO YOU WANT TO GET RICH?
Some years ago, a good friend of mine and I were having a spirited discussion about God and money. Toward the end of the conversation, my friend emphatically said, "Well, I know one thing... there is nothing wrong with wanting to get rich!"
Oh really? What did the Apostle Paul tell Timothy?
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 a pang. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Is there anything wrong with wanting to get rich? YES!
1. If you want to get rich, it reveals an unhealthy view of riches.
So many people think the answer to most all of their problems is money. They think, "If I just had more money, then I could do anything I desired to do... and then I would be happy." Money does not make a person happy. Take it from King Solomon, the man who had so much money he made Bill Gates look like a street beggar, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money" (Eccl. 5:10).
Angela Kelly won $72 million dollars in Britain's biggest lottery win. I guess her life is full of joy and peace now, right? WRONG! Since her big payday she lost her boyfriend, gained 14 pounds, has been hounded by friends looking for financial help, and now lives like a virtual recluse. Her neighbor said, "She was perfectly happy before she won the millions. Winning that money has really ruined her life. She has totally lost her sense of purpose." Amazing!
You know what really satisfies in life? A deep walk with God. Solomon asked, "For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?" Nobody!
2. If you want to get rich, it reveals a potential love of riches.
God warns us about loving money. Money is amoral, neither good nor bad, but "the love of money is the root of all sort of evil" (1 Tim. 6:10). Jesus said it is impossible to serve God and serve money. It is impossible to love God and love money.
Now don't get me wrong; it is fine to have money... as long as money does not have you. How can you tell if you have money or if money has you? Are you able to give generously and cheerfully to the Lord's work? Tithing (giving 10% of your gross income to the Lord's work) not only builds your faith, it protects your heart against money becoming a destructive idol in your life.
3. If you want to get rich, it reveals a shortsighted view of riches.
Riches are uncertain and unstable at best. They are here today and gone tomorrow. Does money talk? Yes. It says, "Goodbye." Mike Tyson won $300 million dollars as a boxer... and filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Former box office heartthrob, Burt Reynolds filed for bankruptcy in 1996 with over $10 million in debt. He went through money like "White Lightning" (a little Burt Reynolds movie humor). God tells us "not to fix our hope on the uncertainty of riches" (1 Tim. 6:17). We are to "fix our hope on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy."
Riches surely do not profit in the day of wrath (Prov. 11:4). When you die, you leave behind all that you have and you take with you all that you are. According to Jesus, the only way to make your money last for all eternity is to invest it in heaven's bank, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
My friend, let me encourage you to be content with what you have. It is certainly not wrong to have riches... just do not long for them or trust in them!
Give generously, live simply, love unconditionally, trust God implicitly, and enjoy the blessings He will bring as a result!
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.