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The Dangerous Lure of Riches

“I was walking through an orchard when I saw a low tree laden more heavily with fruit than the rest. On a nearer examination, it appeared that the tree had been dragged to the very earth, and broken by the weight of its treasures. ‘Oh!' said I, gazing on the tree, ‘here lies one who has been ruined by his riches.'

“Then I met a man hobbling along on two wooden legs, leaning on two sticks. ‘Tell me,' said I, ‘my poor fellow, how you came to lose your legs.'

“‘Why, sir,' said he, ‘in my younger days I was a soldier. With a few comrades I attacked a party of the enemy. We overcame them and began to load ourselves with spoil. My comrades were satisfied with little, but I burdened myself with as much as I could carry. We were pursued. My companions escaped, but I was overtaken and so cruelly wounded that I only saved my life afterward by losing my legs. It was a bad affair. But it is too late to repent now.'

“‘Ah, friend,' thought I, ‘like the fruit tree, you may date your downfall to your possessions. It was your riches that ruined you.'

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“Do not be over-anxious about riches. Get as much of true wisdom and goodness as you can, but be satisfied with a very moderate portion of this world's good. Riches may prove a curse as well as a blessing.

“‘Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain' (Proverbs 30:8-9).”

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

See: 1 Tim 6:7-10