On becoming rich: deceit of wealth

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

This is the third part of the four-parts series On becoming rich.

Being rich, or possessing wealth, is defined differently from one person to another. Irregardless of your definition, we understand that it is within the context of abundance. For the whole series, we will talk about the following:

  • basic principles of becoming rich
  • ill-gotten wealth
  • deceit of wealth
  • real source of wealth

In this article, we will discuss about how the state of abundance can deceive us and change our perception about ourselves.

Deceit of wealth

1. Lure of wealth.

It’s amazing how wealth is being associated to lure as stated in Matthew 13:22. To understand more, let us dive deeper into what lure is really about.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
Matthew 13:22 NLT

Photo by Mael BALLAND on Unsplash

Merriam-Webster defined lure (noun) as something that draws us towards pleasure and gain. Also, the word lure (verb) implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving. It is synonymous with the word tempt (verb) which implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment; and with the word seduce (verb) which implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises.

So what can we draw from all these? Material possessions in this life often times cause us (if we allow them to) to bypass sound judgement just so we can gain more wealth. However, Matthew 13:22 warns us that the pleasures and delight wealth offers us are just shallow. It means that even if we get to accumulate more and more wealth, we won’t get enough satisfaction out of it.

And the one on whom seed was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the worries and distractions of the world and the deceitfulness [the superficial pleasures and delight] of riches choke the word, and it yields no fruit.
Matthew 13:22 AMP

However, we cannot dismiss the notion that wealth can lure us away from what could really provide us real satisfaction in this life. Even if we know that it will not really fulfill us in the long run, some of us still fall into it.

2. Hope on wealth.

People who put their hope on wealth implies that they have a confident expectation that their wealth will deliver them through whatever situation they will find themselves into. Such trust makes it easy for them to inflate their self valuation. That is why Paul warns the rich in 1 Timothy 6:17 not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches.

As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17 AMP

It is also noteworthy to consider the warning that riches are uncertain. However, what’s certain is that those who lean on and trust in and is confident in his riches will fall (Proverbs 11:28).

He who leans on and trusts in and is confident in his riches will fall, but the righteous [who trust in God’s provision] will flourish like a green leaf.
Proverbs 11:28 AMP

3. Love of money.

Another tendency when people decide to take pleasure in money is to actually love money. A common misconception is the idea that money is evil in itself. However, 1 Timothy 6:10 is clear that it is the love of money that causes all kinds of evil.

The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow.
1 Timothy 6:10 NCV

From our previous post, we have already discussed some of the things people get themselves involved in just to gain more money. 1 Timothy 6:10 tagged such means as unethical ways of gaining money. And mainly, their motivation of doing so is driven by greed.

For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 AMP

It is a fair warning that for whoever chases money, they are after much sorrow. So if you are only after money, then the very satisfaction you desire becomes elusive. Just as the richest man who ever lived, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:10 that the love of money is meaningless.

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 NASB

RELATED: What does science and the Bible tell about the correlation of money and happiness?

Wrap Up

  • Lure of wealth. It is an undeniable fact that wealth offers both pleasure and delight. However, more wealth does not guarantee a fulfilled life.
  • Hope on wealth. Riches are uncertain in nature that is why, we should never put our trust on wealth. Instead, our hope should be on the Lord.
  • Love of money. This is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I’d rather say, the love for money is an unrequited love.

It’s easy to say that we will never be acquainted with these deeds when we are still living from paycheck to paycheck. The real test comes the moment we get into the phase where we are living above our means. As a final thought, watch this video (begin in 00:15) to remind you that wealth can be dangerous when you let it change how you think of yourself.

Now, you have learned that wealth can be deceiving. But it’s also important to understand that money in itself is not evil. So if that’s the case, how can you achieve prosperity without falling into the deceit acquisition of wealth entails? For the final article in the series, we will discuss the real source of wealth.

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