The Wealth Trap

In Proverbs, it’s written, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5).

Why not get rich; you want that Mercedes for Christmas, don’t you? And, then, there’s the big diamond for the wife; so, sure, you want to get rich. Isn’t that the American dream? And, if you work extra hours now so you can have the retirement you always dreamed of–why not? There is nothing wrong with working hard; it is the Lord who said diligent hands prosper, and there is the sense of accomplishment in doing so. But, it’s wrong when wealth becomes the driving force of your life–when you wear yourself out to get rich. Really, when do you stop? At what point are you rich enough?

In Ecclesiastes it is written, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him who can eat or find enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25).

Eat, drink, and enjoy your work. That’s a pretty simple life; and, it’s a life that leaves room for what is really important. God is important; contentment is important. The Bible says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that. 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” (1 Timothy 6:6-9).

There is a trap waiting for those who let wealth drive their lives. But, the wise man keeps in mind that one day he will stand before God’s throne. Cars and diamonds will be left behind for others to fight over. The portfolio that matters to him is have we remained faithful to our wives and loved our children? Are we heavily invested in the kingdom of God? Have we sought counsel from the Holy Spirit and made Jesus our Lord?

Men, if you wear yourself out to get rich, you’ll just get worn out. Leave room for what is really important.

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