Loving Money: Its Effects
“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” (1 Timothy 6:9).
The sin of loving money is also dangerous because of its harmful effects.
The sanctioning of new state lotteries over the past twenty years, officially done to “enhance revenues” and create new jobs, not only sustains many persons’ addiction to gambling but also draws many others into a willingness to spend money they don’t have. It illustrates how greed results in sinful entrapment for many people.
Scripture warns against becoming entrapped by material things: “The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 7:25).
In the first part of 1 Timothy 6:9, Paul’s wording indicates a premeditated, settled desire for money. By their consuming drive and passion for more, the greedy are continually caught like animals in a trap. Their sinful love of money ends up controlling their lives and making them the unhappy victims of their own evil lusts.
The all-consuming pursuit of riches will ultimately ruin someone’s spiritual life. In the conclusion of today’s verse, Paul presents the image of one’s entire person (body and soul) being destroyed. That’s what, if left unchecked, a preoccupation with acquiring more and more money will do to us.
God’s Word contains vivid examples of those devastated by money-love. Because Achan disobediently hid some wealth, Israel lost a battle, and Achan and his family were killed (Josh. 7:1-26). Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and ended up committing suicide (Matt. 27:3-5). Ananias and Sapphira did not give the Lord the entire proceeds from the sale of their property and were struck dead for lying (Acts 5:1-11).
If you are at all tempted to discount greed’s harmful effects or to rely on money for security, consider the prophet’s sobering assertion: “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord’s wrath” (Zeph. 1:18).
Suggestions for Prayer
Pray that all your friends and family, believers and unbelievers, would understand and avoid the bad effects of loving money.
For Further Study
Read James 5:1-5.
When will the full consequences of greed become evident?
How do James’s words compare to the rebukes Jesus issued against the Pharisees?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.