Athlete, some of our wants are dangerous
1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NASB)
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
I led chapel services with a rising NBA team made up of players who were hitting their new contract year. Success has always meant rich new contracts in pro sports.
One day a player remarked about a teammate, “I am afraid he won’t be coming to chapel. He got the contract he always wanted, and he misinterprets his new contract as affirmation from God that everything is OK in his life.”
There is a dangerous progression in these verses. Our “wants” make us open to temptation, then a snare (trap), leading to more foolish desires which can plunge us into destruction. The word “plunge” was used of a sinking ship in the writer’s day.
This verse refers to wants that are longings, things we pursue with an unquenchable desire. While the writer uses the desire to be rich in this context, the Scriptures speak of other desires with a similar danger – desire for reputation, position, sexual immorality and idolatry.
Wealth is not inherently evil. The Scriptures have little to say about how much we earn, but a lot to say about what we want. So why does wanting something lead to destruction?
Our captivating desires often lead to the endless pursuit of things that relieve us from needing God. This independence leads to more foolish decisions and empty pursuits. We expect the things we achieve or possess will give us the peace, joy and security that God provides.
It is crucial to be able to identify the “wants” that could rule our lives. Are they captivating? What will it mean in my life if I do not get them? Am I chasing something that replaces God in my life?
Tom Petersburg, www.catapultministries.org