A Tool, Not A Goal

Duane Vander Klok

Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19

King Solomon was very blessed by God in many ways – God even gave him great riches! But even though these blessings were clearly from God, Solomon got caught up in the deceitfulness of riches. As he writes the book of Ecclesiastes, he uses the phrases “under the sun” meaning he was not considering the spiritual but only perceiving the world through an earthly lens. In viewing the world through this lens, Solomon says “money is the answer for everything.” Like Solomon, it can be easy to think that money can fix all our problems. But know that money is deceitful – it seems to be the answer to all things, but only God can truly care for us in every way.

The deceitfulness of riches is a well laid trap that ensnares so many people. It promises security, peace, and a carefree life. But in reality, money cannot provide any of those things. We fall into the trap when we begin to chase riches over all else, thinking that it will save us. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Money itself is not evil, but when we value it over everything else the enemy gains a foothold in our lives.

The deceitfulness of riches may also easily convince us that we always need more and more stuff. The world tells us to “keep up with the Jones’” and to buy the newest things! And when we go down that road, our value system is turned upside down. The world tells us to use people to get things, but God tells us that people are far more valuable than anything in the world. When we pass away, we cannot take our stuff with us, but we will see people in heaven that we have impacted for the Kingdom. In Luke 16:9 Jesus says, “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” Money is not the goal, but a tool that we can use to reach people for the Kingdom of God!