Proverbs 23:4-5 (NLT)
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.
In the 1987 hit movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko (played famously by Michael Douglas) gave a speech in front of a shareholder’s meeting that became the rallying cry for millions of Americans:
“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
The Bible has a lot to say when it comes to money and possessions because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Mth. 6:21), and God certainly cares about the desires of your heart. The quest to be rich is a common desire in America, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with being wealthy, there is something wrong – even deadly – about an unhealthy desire for it. Many of the biblical heroes of the faith were rich, such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, and Solomon…and their wealth obviously did not disqualify them from being used by God…but we should not be too quick to use their riches as a license for our unhealthy obsessions.
Are you spending most of your waking hours working to build up your earnings and your nest egg? Is your pursuit taking a toll on your health, your family, your relationships, and your peace of mind? Don’t you know that you can lose it all in the blink of an eye? Don’t you understand that the next stock market correction is always looming around the corner? Do you have the ability or even the desire to be able to say, “Enough is enough”? Don’t spend all of your God-given abilities on the acquisition of things that won’t last. God has called you to be a better investor than that. Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Greed is a liar that promises much but delivers little.