Those who desire to be rich – Part 2
Five major things our passage outlines as the dangerous experiences of such men are:
• Falling Into Temptation And Snare- 9a. They are tempted to do wicked things in order to accomplish their purposes. And like birds, they are taken in a snare/net and find it difficult to escape. They become involved in the meshes of worldliness, fettered by cares and inordinate desires, artificial needs to the extent that they are no longer free men. Some have joined secret cults, all in the desire to become rich.
• Falling Into Many Foolish And Harmful Lusts-9b. They become foolish because they lose their intelligence/senses and make choices that are injurious to their body and soul.
• Engaging In Acts That Drag Men Into Destruction And Perdition-9c. The Greek word rendered “drown” here is “βυθίζω/buthizō,” which means “to sink in the deep” or “to cause to sink.” The meaning here is that they become submerged as a ship that sinks. The destruction is complete, total ruin of happiness, of virtue, of reputation and of the soul. A large fish hawk swoops down on the waters of the bay and dug its talons into a huge place. The bird rose with its prey, but its weight proved too great and dragged it down. Several times, the bird struggled to ascend but failed and exhausted, it finally fell into the water still clinging to its captive. Its talons were so embedded in the fish that it could not release them, and it was drowned. The “fish died of its wounds, and both were washed ashore, wherewith difficulty, they were separated. How many men and women have sunk physically and spiritually because of the desire to be rich?
• Straining From The Faith-vs 10b. The desire to get rich has made many to abandon the standards of the faith, and teachings of the Bible have been watered down. Many pulpits, today, are also guilty of this, for Pastors no longer tell their members the truth for the fear of losing their big offerings, tithes and donations.
• Piercing Oneself Through With Many Sorrows-10c. The peril here to me is so grave because it is not coming from an external factor, but an internal one. No destruction is as grave as self-destruction. What a dangerous adventure to make one’s life’s goal the pursuit of the mammon called money? May those who have been caught in the web be delivered today. Amen.
• Biblical Defences Against The Desire To Be Rich- (1Tim. 6:6-8,11) Our passage doesn’t just reveal to us the perils of the desire to get rich but also gives us clue to how we can defend ourselves against it. These are:
• Avoiding Extravagant Living- Live a life policy of godliness with contentment. (6) The absence of simplicity leads to more evils. Be brave enough to be simple in your habits. Seek to live without ostentation.
• Resolving Not To Worship Any Golden Calf. No idolatry is more prevalent than this. Resolve not to earn any shady income and from where you have not sown. A Christian should not engage in gambling, lottery, lotto, pool, etc. Let your spiritual antenna always rise against such. Have zero tolerance for reaping where you did not sow.
• Loving Higher Things Than The World Offers. The truth is that the human heart is created to love. So, to avoid the desire/love of money, desire to love higher things. The good conquers evil by its own inherent force. Love God, love His work, His Church, His people etc. Set your heart on things above. (Col. 3:1-2)
• Giving Freely-Always be ready to give to good and godly causes. You will surely deflate the desire to get rich by giving freely and cheerfully.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos. 08033052590.