One key to wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. That is one reason I spend so much time reading. Some books provide good guidance for the road of life. Some don’t. I have found the best book to be the Bible. Regardless of how you feel about the Bible, you can’t argue with the wisdom contained within. Not only is the Bible full of wisdom and stories, but the Bible is also full of warnings. It warns against a variety of life issues. Over the next few blog posts, I want to focus on some biblical warnings regarding money. We will look at warnings about wanting to be rich, borrowing money, taking advantage of the poor, investing, co-signing, and general warnings. I hope you enjoy these short posts.
Have you ever been tempted with a “get rich quick scheme”? Considering the word “scheme” is in the title of these money moves, we know they won’t last. While I encourage people to pursue wealth and set goals regarding their use of money, these pursuits should all be secondary to humanity’s primary purpose in life: glorifying God. Often, when we chase money, we lose sight of more important things. When we take another extra shift at work, book another meeting over dinner, or agree to a 60-hour workweek, the pursuit of money becomes our number one priority. Our family becomes second or third, and our faith barely makes the top ten.
The Bible issues several warnings against those whose primary goal is to become rich.
First, you will be tempted to cheat others to get more. Proverbs 28:20-“The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.” When the almighty dollar is all you think about, your integrity doesn’t matter as much anymore, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to get rich. That is a dangerous place to be.
Second, you may develop wrong motives and end up in poverty. Proverbs 28:22-“Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they are headed for poverty.” Going after money simply for the sake of a fat bank account calls into question your motives for work and relationships. This causes you to have blinders towards people and situations where compassion and care are required—another dangerous situation.
Third, you will face additional traps, temptations, and lusts that will destroy you. 1 Timothy 6:9-“But 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.” When you are only focused on making money, the devil will come along and paint some pretty pictures of a life of luxury. He will then present “excellent business opportunities” that end up enslaving you. Don’t fall for this!
How do we heed these warnings and still pursue money? Because let’s face it, we need money to live. We need to pay for food, housing, clothes, and other things.
The key is priorities.
Ask yourself why you want to get rich. Is it so that you can relax and enjoy life on this earth? Is it to pursue worldly pleasures? If so, the warnings are for you.
If you want to “get rich” so that you can bless others, give to the poor, help a single parent, support global missions, and glorify God, these warnings are not for you.
Getting your heart to match up with your actions will pay huge dividends in the pursuit of money, wealth, and possessions.
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