1 Tim 6:9 “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.”
The rich young ruler fell into ruin and destruction due to his love for his wealth. (Matt 19:21) He understood that he needed whatever it was that Jesus was teaching, but when he was asked to “sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” he left Jesus sorrowful, because he had a lot of earthly wealth that he was not willing to let go of. I think we all have things we tend to hold on to, and I must admit that material wealth has a certain allure to me. Not that I've ever cared about nice clothes or big fancy houses, I have just always wanted a Ferrari. Now I have owned 70 different vehicles that cost me $1000 or less, so as you might imagine, it wouldn't have to be the newest and best Ferrari. In fact, I could go buy a nice 348 right now, but that is not really the big expense. You need a garage to keep it in, expensive tools and the knowledge to work on it, or about $5 per mile to pay a shop to maintain it. All of these costs add up to a very expensive hobby, which requires a good job, a lot of hours, and results in just another weight holding me back from serving the Lord. (Matt 6:33) “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Not to say that if I seek the kingdom and righteousness of God He will reward me with a Ferrari here on earth, but rather I will find my reward in the riches of heaven, which is far greater than anything I can imagine. As a practical application I am going to pray that the Lord shows me an opportunity to give to the poor this week.
I Timothy reads 6:9 reads “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.” I can’t help but be reminded of the story of Ananias and Sapphira and their outcome when they were dishonest and selfish with their money. This is a great warning to keep my focus on and “take hold of that which is life indeed” [I Tim 6:17]. Proverbs has many great warnings of the trap that riches can become. Proverbs 23:4 warns to not even consider gaining wealth, but to make it far from my thoughts. Proverbs 28:20 contrasts a person who makes haste to get rich fast with a faithful man. It says that the man who desires to get rich fast will not go unpunished but that a faithful man will abound with blessings.
Riches are always uncertain, but God is constant and is the supplier of all things. If I overwhelm my thoughts of what I do not have and devote my time to attaining it then there is little room for Christ in my life. I have always been a selfish person with my belongings, and having unbelieving roommates in college who were overly generous and ready to share helped me to begin to break me of this selfishness. When getting rid of most of my worldly possessions I promised myself and God that I would begin to process of being more generous and less concerned with money by being willing to give my things away or share with the possibility of never having it back. I told God that if someone had a need for something I had that I would give it to them, no question asked. My heart in the giving is what God really cares about, but this is of course going to be an inward process as well. This is a big promise to make to God because it’s an easy one to break so I would like some accountability in that, and that I would give with a grateful heart.