Potential Pitfalls of Profit, Prosperity, and Poverty

The pursuit of Riches

Yesterday, Caleb posted a reply by Dave Ramsey to a question on ambition and contentment.  I thought the response was thoughtful and helpful.  Contentment does not reside solely in stuff, in material possession, in riches.  If the pursuit of riches is not already rooted in contentment, the end will be great disappointment to say the least.  The Scriptures below say much more.  Pursuing riches is American, pursuing riches is full of pitfalls, and the scriptures call us to pursue riches with great care.

1 Timothy 6

6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Phillipians 4

 10I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Hebrews 13

5Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 Ecclesiastes 2

 18I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

Landon Vick

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