Money is a gift, it is a stewardship, and how we use it matters. But, it is not the ultimate goal of life. Setting our focus on acquiring earthly riches is pathetically short-sighted in light of eternity. We aren’t to be anxious about money or the things it provides. Instead, our Lord said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt 6:33).
The Parable of the Sower is a familiar one (Matt 13:1–9). Here Jesus teaches a crowd of followers about the various reasons people reject the message of the kingdom. In the parable, the message of the kingdom is referred to as a seed, and those who hear it are compared to four different types of soils. It’s a great parable, and one thing that makes it unique from many other parables is that after telling it Jesus gives an extended explanation of its meaning to His disciples (Matt 13:18–23).
The seed which falls along the path is the one who “hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” (v. 19). The rocky soil is the one “who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself,” when trouble comes he too falls away (v. 20–21). Then there’s the thorny soil, “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.” (v. 22). Finally, there is the good soil who hears the word, understands it, and bears much fruit (v. 23).
But I want to focus your attention on a statement about the thorny soil. Our Lord says that the word is choked out in this person because of the cares of the world and “the deceitfulness of riches.” That phrase, the deceitfulness of riches, has always intrigued me. Money is just a thing, how could it be deceitful? Or perhaps a better question, what exactly are the lies money tells?
There are at least three big lies people believe about money. And if we aren’t careful, even Christians can fall prey to these fiscal falsehoods.
Money is the Goal of Life
The first lie money tells is that it is the goal of life. This one seems so obvious on the surface that we might assume it is easily avoidable. But the world screams this philosophy in our faces daily.