Scripture Reading: Isaiah 41:1-42:25 / Galatians 3:10-25 / Proverbs 22:28-23:9
Being “rich” is a relative term. What may be an abundant, meaningful or a significant supply of wealth for one person may not be enough for someone else. The average wage for an American is $3,263 per month whereas it is $279 in the Philippines. They say that one third of the world’s population lives on less than $2.00 a day. In some countries, if you have a television, you are rich!
The citizens of the United States are some of the richest people in the world yet they are driven by a desire for more riches. The pursuit of riches is not exclusive to our culture as it has been a driving force throughout history. Solomon writes, “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)
For some, they are not wearing themselves out in pursuit of riches but they are simply trying to make enough money to survive! God’s Word praises one who has a strong work ethic and God rewards diligence and determination. The truth is, the average workweek has shortened over the last 200 years. Employment has become less physical but more draining emotionally and mentally. There is an ever constant and overwhelming demand to perform at a high level.
Solomon is not against riches, just the consuming pursuit of them. Riches and money of themselves are not evil – it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Those who sacrifice treasured relationships, time and health for the temporary treasures of this world will find worldly treasures failing and fleeting. As the swift eagle flies high into the sky beyond the reach of man, riches fly away from man with the same intensity.
Riches acquired by the means and motivation of lust and covetousness is a continual temptation for man. We must not sacrifice our lives, family and faith at the altar of greed. Paul said he learned to trust in God’s provisions whether large or small. He tells Timothy, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.“ (1 Timothy 6:6)
Retirement accounts, investments, stocks, savings, and real estate are not fully secure and are susceptible to failing economic conditions. Our trust is not in the pursuit of riches but the pursuit of the One who created all things. Don’t let money consume your life, it will not satisfy you. Place your faith in the true riches of Christ… true riches that don’t fly away!