The concern here is not wealth itself; it is only the love of money that is evil. It is the compulsive and sometimes unethical pursuit of wealth that leads to ruin.
People with this heart attitude set themselves up for temptations and snares—“senseless and harmful desires” that can lead to destruction and may even cause them to “wander away” from trust in God (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
2. You Never Have Enough:
Your checkbook may contain a mere hundred dollars, but you can still be a foolish money-lover.
Conversely, you can have a million bucks in the bank and be a fervent God-lover. It’s all a matter of the heart.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” – Philippians 4:11
3. You’re Living Beyond Your Means:
This is a huge issue in a culture of abundance. Examine your checkbook, bank account, and credit card statements, and you’ll soon discover if this issue of greed is your heart problem.
Who is ruling us when we over-spend, or when we build up credit card debt and accumulate “beyond our means” to quickly repay? Proverbs 22:7 says “the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
4. You’re Becoming A Show-off:
It’s not a matter of “keeping up with the Joneses” now, but also the fashion trends of the Kardashians and the Hollywood crowd, and every enticement from Apple and the Shopping Channel and… it never ends!
The Bible says our unhealthy desires of the flesh, our constant cravings for things we see, and our pride in possessions are “not from the Father” (1 John 2:16).
5. You’re Characterized by Greed:
You may not feel you are greedy, but how would others characterize you?
Do they see you as greedy, lacking a desire to give? Do they think you are generous and doing good to others? Do they see you storing up treasure in heaven, or simply accumulating things on earth?
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:18-19.
6. You’ve Forgotten the Source:
We love money when our hope and security are misplaced, rooted in our financial accounts rather than the Lord. Those who find their security in their possessions may come emotionally unglued when their valuables fall apart or “thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).
7. Your Loyalties are Divided:
When money or possessions drive you—like a slave-driver, like an addiction—you likely serve the idol of materialism.
John Calvin wrote, “Where riches hold the dominion of the heart, God has lost His authority.”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:21, 24).
8. You’re Tempted to Sin:
The love of money can lead us to many choices for sinful gain: cheating on taxes, shortchanging customers, padding expenses, etc.
Love of money clouds good judgment. Blinded by our greed and lusts, we may get caught in “a snare” (1 Timothy 6:9).
9. Your Life is Starting to Suffer:
The love of money is a sinful root problem that bears bitter fruit. It’s not just problems with your bank account. There may be problems with relationships (family or friends). Problems may arise with your health because of the stress of obsessively pursuing wealth.
10. You’re Wondering If You Need Counsel:
Fools don’t see the need for advice, but wise people listen to and even pursue it (Proverbs 12:15).
If you’re beginning to see problems arise because of your financial choices, first pay attention to the truth about finances in God’s Word and then place your confidence in the Lord (Proverbs 16:20).
It’s not wrong to have wealth. It’s only wrong when wealth “has” us!