At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; But the end thereof shall not be blessed.Proverbs 20:21
Envy and discontent love to whisper various lies to us, and one of those lies is the one about how we would handle riches better than those who currently possess them. The chances are actually pretty good that we would not.
This can certainly creep up on us, but the truth of the principle can best be seen when people come into wealth suddenly. We may call this the “redneck winning the lottery” problem. Coming into a sudden possession of wealth, without the gradual acquisition of those habits that are necessary to manage it, results in someone going up like a model rocket and coming down like a stick. The arc may be described as Doublewide > McMansion > Doublewide.
But the heart of man loves the idea of getting rich quickly. In other words, we love the idea of gaining wealth in precisely the way that God’s Word says is not good for us. It turns out that God’s “secret” for gaining wealth that does not corrupt is a secret that can be hidden in plain sight, out there on the table. It can be hidden there because nobody wants to look straight at it. His secret is that we should work hard, say for forty years or so, we should be generous to others, we should honor God with the first fruits by tithing, and so on. But this is not the way we prefer. We would rather learn how to make millions in three weeks in real estate, which is to say, that we would like to live in a world that is very different than the one we actually live in.
The proverb does acknowledge that some do come into a sudden inheritance. That part does happen. But when it happens, it is not the blessing that we all assumed it would be.
As we run spiritual diagnostic tests on ourselves, we should present the question to ourselves this way. Do we want this additional wealth because we want the weight of our responsibilities to go away? Or do we want them because we want the weight of our responsibilities to increase? If it is the former, then we are simply wanting to indulge our sloth. If the latter, then there is hope for us yet.