In 1 Timothy 6:9-11, Paul gives us a critical insight,
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
I want you to notice: Before Paul tells us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness, he says we must first flee the love of money. You have to be willing to flee the wrong things before you can pursue the right things, because you cannot go in two directions at once.
If you are pursuing riches, and the gaining of wealth and the achievement of success have become your number one priorities, pushing everything else, including God, to the side, then you are pursuing the wrong thing.
You may be thinking, “Well, that’s great for some people, but that doesn’t apply to me.” You need to understand that you can be eaten up with the love of money and not have a dime in your pocket. All of us are subject to such a temptation and such a trap.
It’s fascinating that Paul uses the word “drown” here. I live by the Pacific Ocean, and generally people who drown do so because, (a) they overestimate their own abilities as a swimmer; or (b) they underestimate the power of the ocean.
If you overestimate your ability to be free from this type of a temptation, or you underestimate the power of this type of a temptation, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Flee the wrong and pursue the right. Stay on course with God.