He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, nor he who loves abundance with gain. This also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)! ~ Eccl 5:10
Not many professing Christians would identify as fans of Curtis James Jackson III; the American rap artist more commonly known as 50 Cent. This is understandable, as the lyrics of his rap songs are not exactly lifted from the Sacred Songs and Solos hymnal. However, far too many Christians live essentially by the title of his debut album – Get rich or die tryin’.
The pursuit of material prosperity has become so central to the ‘gospel’ and such a preoccupation of the modern Christian that, it is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between the methods of the church and corporations, and to discern if the motive for our coming together is still communion or has become capitalism.
It is instructive to note that, long before 50 Cent, Paul the Apostle did warn, almost literally that, those who want to get rich will ‘die’ trying. Writing to Timothy, he said “those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.” (1 Timothy 6:9 AMPC)
The craving to get rich in hope that it would bring satisfaction is in reality a fool’s errand. It is like a man chasing the end of the horizon – running, panting, straining to reach that distant point where the sky touches the earth. “He who loves abundance will not be satisfied with gain” declared Solomon – and Solomon should know.
Is the believer called to poverty then? Not necessarily. The thing is, neither riches nor poverty are of great significance to the believer. As we mature, we all should come to the point in our walk where we are able like Paul to say, “ I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want” (Philippians 4:12 TLB)
In the end, the Lord makes clear that there’s no way to pursue riches without turning away in disdain from following after Him. “You cannot serve two masters: God and money.” He said, “For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.” (Matt 6:24 TLB)
Lord, help me to realize how full my life is just by having you in it.