The Deceitfulness of Riches

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 
– Matthew 13:22
Be on your guard against “the deceitfulness of riches.” Don’t buy the lies that they tell.
  • Riches promise happiness, yet “he who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income” (Eccl 5:10).
  • Riches promise security, so Solomon writes, “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city” (Pv 10:15). Nevertheless, “neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD” (Zeph 1:18). At the very moment when you most need its protection, it will flee from you. Money only offers earthly security; it provides no eternal security. It doesn’t give you what you really need.
  • Riches promise friendship, and so it is written, “The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich have many friends” (Pv 14:20). Yet “the ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threats” (Pv 13:8). Riches make enemies too.
  • Riches promise life, so Christ’s warning implies, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Where then should we look for life if not in wealth? The Lord answers: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He is the one who gives life: “The Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5:21). “I came that they may have life” (John 10:10). The apostle announces that Christ is our life (Col 3:4). Wealth could never provide true life to us. So the rich are exhorted in 1 Timothy 6 to not clutch their wealth, but have an open hand, letting it go, being generous, so that “they may take hold of that which is truly life” (v. 19).
Don’t let money trick you. Wealth lies. Riches lie. Possessions lie. “Christ is all” (Col 3:11).