Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): A Christian making money fast is just like a man in a cloud of dust; it will fill his eyes if he is not careful.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Wherefore, let us all learn not too ardently to desire great wealth.
ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): Riches rather enlarge than satisfy appetites.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): So many people are living simply for things. It’s a materialistic age. This is the view of life that is current and prevalent and popular. What is life? Well, life is―well, the business of life to have things, to possess things. Never has there been a greater interest in money and in things―gadgets, machines! People want to possess them. And they live for these things. They get excited about them; they write about them; you’ll find the magazines full of them―types of motorcars, types of furniture, various instruments. And they live for these―this is everything! It’s their great ambition; always to be getting something better and better, more and more expensive. On and on you go―the people are living for these things! I’m not exaggerating! These are things that constitute the very mainspring of their lives.
THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): Earthly riches are called thorns, Luke 8:14―and well they may; for as thorns, they pierce both head and heart; the head with cares in getting them, and the heart with grief in parting with them.
J. C. RYLE: Money, in truth, is one of the most unsatisfying of possessions. It takes away some cares, no doubt; but it brings with it quite as many cares as it takes away. There is the trouble in the getting of it. There is the anxiety in the keeping of it. There are temptations in the use of it. There is guilt in the abuse of it. There is sorrow in the losing of it. There is perplexity in the disposing of it…Two-thirds of all the strifes, quarrels and lawsuits in the world arise from one simple cause―money!
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): I fear, wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion has decreased in the same proportion…When I have any money I get rid of it as quickly as possible, lest it find a way into my heart.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Many who affect to despise wealth are the greatest hoarders of it. I suppose they are afraid it might injure other people’s hearts, and, therefore, they put it away very carefully, so that others may not touch the dangerous thing. That may be all very kind of them; but we do not exactly appreciate their benevolent intention, and should think it fully as kind if they were every now and then to distribute some of it. You hear them saying, very often, that “money is the root of all evil.” Now, I should like to find that text. But it is not to be found anywhere, from Genesis to Revelation. I found a text once, which said, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” I Timothy 6:10; but as for the money itself, I can see very little evil in it.
J. C. RYLE: It is possible to have it without loving it.
C. H. SPURGEON: If a man will but rightly use it, I conceive that it is a talent sent from heaven, bestowed by God for holy purposes, and I am quite sure God’s talents are not bad ones.
THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): God gave us riches as a means to escape wrath, by a liberal and charitable distribution of them to His glory.
ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): Such as have it in their power should make the poor man’s pocket the bank of their riches…There is a perpetual frost in the pockets of some wealthy people; as soon as they put their hands into them they are frozen, and unable to draw out their purses. Had I my way, I would hang all misers, but the reverse of the common mode; I would hang them up by their heels, that their money might run out of their pockets.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Man takes great pains to heap up riches, but they are like heaps of manure in the furrows of the field, good for nothing unless they be spread.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do?―verse 17. And foolish thoughts they were; he did not think of God, or that there was one, and much less that He was the Author of all his outward prosperity and plenty; and was still further off of thinking of returning thanks to God for it: or of asking counsel of Him, what he should do with it; but he consults himself only, and thought only within, and for himself; and not at all of his poor neighbours, or for the good of others; nor did he think even of his own soul, but altogether about his worldly substance―he does not say, what shall I do for God? for His interest service, and glory? for the poor, the hungry, and thirsty, and naked? or for my own soul, that that may be eternally saved?
ROWLAND HILL: A miser is like a pig, of no use until he is dead and cut up.
MATTHEW HENRY: There is a burden of care in getting riches, fear in keeping them, temptation in using them, guilt in abusing them, sorrow in losing them, and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them…We shall carry nothing with us out of this world. A shroud, a coffin, and a grave, are all that the richest man in the world can have from his thousands.
JOHN WESLEY: To what purpose, then, do we heap together so many things?
HUGH MARTIN (1822-1885): If a man’s religion does not affect his use of money, that man’s religion is vain.
C. H. SPURGEON: I cannot handle money but what I think I am bought with a price. I do not receipt a bill without recollecting that He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against me.
AUGUSTUS TOPLADY (1713-1778): Martin Luther had this passage in his last will and testament: “Lord God, I thank Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to make me a poor and indigent man upon earth. I have neither house, nor land, nor money to leave behind me. Thou hast given me wife and children: whom I now restore to Thee. Lord, nourish, teach, and preserve them, as Thou hast me.”