You associate names like Bernie Madoff, Jeff Skilling and even Martha Stewart with financial crimes. They are all people like you and me. They were in pursuit of wealth, and they never had enough. All of them resorted to trying to gain more in an unethical manner. It didn’t matter to them how they got it or who they had to hurt, as long as they got it. Their pursuit of money was all that mattered to them. In the end, each of them paid a high price for that. Some people still feel they didn’t pay enough.
In 1 Timothy 6:9, Paul warns Timothy and us, “But those who [are not financially ethical and] crave to get rich [with a compulsive, greedy longing for wealth] fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction [leading to personal misery]” (AMP). He follows this up with the famous verse that tells us the love of money is the root of all evil. But then just after that, he tells us what we should be pursuing. Verse 11 says, “But as for you, O man of God, flee from these things; aim at and pursue righteousness [true goodness, moral conformity to the character of God], godliness [the fear of God], faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.”
What are you in pursuit of? What are you motivated to get? If it’s money and wealth, ask yourself why. If it’s for the sake of having more, more will never be enough. In Matthew 6:19, Jesus told us not to store up material wealth here. He wasn’t saying you shouldn’t have a savings account. He was reminding us that we need to pursue things that last for eternity because where our treasure is, our heart is, and where our heart is matters. Wealth and money in and of themselves are not evil, but the pursuit of them can be. Instead of spending all of our energies pursuing them, focus on living a life that honors God and pursue the godly traits Paul gave us. You’ll end up with more than enough in eternity.