The Dangerous Desire for Wealth – Br. David Vryhof

I Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19
Luke 12:13-21

It is a rare person who cannot be tempted by wealth.  Most of us believe that if we were wealthier our lives would be easier and more enjoyable than they are now.  We envy those who are rich enough to satisfy not only their “needs” but also most of their “wants.”  We imagine that they are free of worry and can rest in the assurance that they have what they need to face the future with confidence.

But appearances can be deceptive.  The passages we have before us today warn us that the desire for wealth can be extremely dangerous.  “Those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” 

Desiring to be rich is dangerous.  It can easily lead us into bad choices, which damage our character and our reputation, wreak havoc with our relationships, and result in ruin and destruction.  “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed,” Jesus warns us.

Here is the simple truth:

“We brought nothing into the world” and “we can take nothing out of it.” Like all things in life, wealth is transitory. To those who trust in wealth, God says, “You fool!”  Your life can be taken away at any moment and then what benefit will your wealth offer you?

Here is the simple truth:

“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Only the foolish believe that wealth will give their lives meaning and will satisfy their inner “God-shaped” hunger.

Here is the simple truth:

▪ The only treasure that will last is the heavenly treasure that results from doing good.  Those who set their hopes on worldly wealth will not be rich towards God.  In the end, it is those who are not haughty but who are generous and ready to share who will posses the riches in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:20).

Here is the simple truth:

▪ Wealth has the potential to do good and the potential to ruin and destroy.  Choose wisely.

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