Longing Leads to...

November 23, 2022

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9 NLT

To long for something is to crave it; desire it passionately. Do you know anyone who has ever felt that way about being rich? Oh, maybe they don’t want so much wealth that the whole world would designate them as rich, but they always want a better car, a better phone, a better house. They always need more than they currently have to be happy. Yes, we all know that person. Maybe we ARE that person.

If you know a person who focuses their time and energy on fulfilling their craving for more, you know that what Paul told Timothy is true. Longing is a VERB. It is active, and it leads somewhere. The progression is plain:

We fall into temptation. Maybe it’s a short-cut. Maybe it is to neglect the real responsibilities in our lives. Maybe it’s to deceive others or take advantage. But we are tempted by something that seems to be a help in getting where we want to go.

Then we are trapped. Our foolish and harmful desires are more and more powerful. They are addictive. Like me with cashew nuts, you just need one more. One more possession or to reach one more level. We make unwise decisions and “deals with the devil,” binding us with situations and people that take us further and further away from our real purpose and joy.

We are eventually plunged into ruin and destruction. We may keep our “rich status,” but we have other disastrous losses. We ruin relationships and reputations. We destroy opportunities for true significance with people, and like the rich man in Jesus’ story in Luke 12, we eventually lose what we thought was ours.

This is where longing to be rich leads. It leads to the loss of everything lasting. But don’t get this wrong. Paul goes on to explain that money is not evil. It’s the love of money. It’s the longing for money. God has always used rich people in powerful ways in His kingdom. But they are the rich people who love God and people and use money to serve them. Rich people who love money, use people and try to use God to serve them. They have it backward.

It might be in your blessed future to be rich. That could be a wonderful happening if being rich isn’t your goal. You serve a mighty God whose delight is to meet your needs and then use you to help meet the needs of others with generosity through the gifts He has given you. You can count on Him to meet the desires of your heart if your heart is in tune with Him, and He is the focus of your longing.

  • Jesus, I say I love You and want You more than anything. May my life prove it.