What will one sacrifice when he is “in love”? The price is very high when it comes to riches. What would one give in exchange for his soul?1 Whatever one gives himself to habitually and compulsively is the object of his love. The deception of riches ensnares the one who has a love for it. By what a man is ensnared, by this is he overcome.2 What has trapped him is his own internal decadence and fallen sense of self-importance.
Most who attain to great wealth live in their own man-made confines of loneliness and isolation. Private, gated entrances to exclusive properties portray the deeper, underlying reality of what possesses the souls of the rich. Like a top-security prison, the guards of self-centeredness and pride work together as a blockade to those outside its walls. The rich alienate and are alienated by their own insatiable lust for wealth. Their castles turn out to be self-made prisons in which they are beset with many sicknesses from constant financial troubles and anxiety.3
Those who place their confidence in their riches end up spending enormous amounts of time worrying about the potential of losing what they have. They will seek greater investments to secure their wealth. Oh, security! Riches! It is like the wealthy farmer in Luke 12:16-21 who wanted greater and greater wealth in order to guarantee his future prosperity and comfort. In order to secure what he owned, he tore down one barn to build two. “Well done,” the man said to his soul, “Now I have much wealth stored up for many years to come; I can take my ease and eat, drink, and be merry.” What a fool! That night, his soul was demanded of him, and who would enjoy all that he had hoarded for himself?