Dangers in Wealth
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Wealth can have a very subtle and entrapping influence; it distracts us so subtly away for God. There is no temptation equal to it.
Three points of danger:
a. Undue elation of heart
b. Forgetfulness of God
c. A spirit of self-sufficiency and self-glorification.
The prevention lies in the cultivation of a thankful spirit and an understanding that the power to get wealth is not of ourselves but from God.
This is the grave error we make using our own wisdom, energy and knowledge instead of God’s, through whom we could not think a thought, move a muscle or complete our journey or calling.
The best prevention is found in Matt 6:19-22, “Lay up your treasures in heaven; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
2. Looking further into the dangers
a. Wealth often leads to fleshy indulgence:
With abundance in our possession it is easier to indulge the appetites than to deny them. The spirit can only be developed at the expense of the flesh, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom.
b. Wealth breeds self-sufficient pride:
Wealth tends to weaken our self-dependence on God. When we believe that from our visible stores every need can be supplied, we are prone to forget the unseen giver.
c. Wealth loses sight of its own origin:
Wealth has a short memory for obligations; the millionaire soon forgets his days of poverty and struggle, forgets the friends who looked after him during his hardships, kicking away the ladder that led to his success. Riches can smother and put out the flame of Christian feeling.
d. Riches give us false confidence:
Like Nebuchadnezzar we say, “Is this the great Babylon that I have built?” We find great pleasure in hearing our own skill and endeavor praised. The tide of self-thinking flows strongly toward self-trust.
e. Riches lead towards idolatry:
In the days of poverty or lack we did not object to be accounted as singular; but in the time of wealth we tend to do as others do.
It is difficult to have to think for ourselves, to rely upon our own judgments, to follow a course that men will ridicule.
But when riches come we must be very careful not to indulge in self-worship and all the other idols.
Wealth gives us prominence, puts us in the spotlight so to speak. We then tend to not want to risk our new found reputation by remembering the struggles of the past and the people who helped us. We now run with a new crowd, a crowd filled with danger. A new motto we don’t know or have forgotten is given by God in 1 Timothy 6:10, “The love of money (or wealth or riches) is the root of all kinds of evil.”