He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Greed will distort your vision. You will see temptations other men miss, and you will eye everything as a means for gain. Chasing riches is bad enough, but pursuing them hastily is a recipe for disaster. Ambition, covetousness, and greed are ingredients of financial ruin (Pr 28:20; I Tim 6:7-10). A wise man is content with his wages and lets God make him rich; he will not pursue damning and elusive wealth, either slowly or hastily.
Haste to be rich is the impatient lust for more of a greedy person. He is frustrated by an ordinary job and discontented with ordinary wages. He believes he deserves better; he envies successful men; he covets what they have; he believes others owe him; he allows lustful thoughts. This greed for gain perverts his vision. He measures others by how much he might gain by them rather than how much they could gain from his service to them.
His heart and eyes are obsessed with getting ahead financially. He is constantly thinking of squeezing more money out of every transaction. He wants to buy below market, but he wants to sell above market. He begrudges any activity that does not pay. He hates giving charity, but he loves receiving it. In all his thoughts about money, he overlooks one great consideration – God and good men will take this covetous wretch down to poverty.
Greed for gain corrupts a man’s view of life. He is stingy in giving. He is unthankful in receiving. He is overbearing in transactions. He measures relationships financially. He defrauds his family. He overworks. He underpays. He resents taxes. He may consider bribes. He is angered by acts of God that cost him money. He is easily deceived by get-rich-quick schemes. He despises patient saving. He envies the successful. He is unhappy.
But a wise man scatters his money, knowing it leads to prosperity; he knows miserly thinking leads to poverty and resentment (Pr 11:24-26). A wise man considers the poor and gives quickly (Pr 19:17; Ps 41:1). He knows that a little with fear of God, peace, and righteousness is better than wealth without these things (Pr 15:16-17; 16:8; 17:1; 28:6; Ps 37:16). Generous men have a good eye – they see life’s priorities correctly (Pr 22:9).
Tax collectors and occupying soldiers often have evil eyes – using their jobs for greed, but John the Baptist taught precise accounting and contentment with wages (Lu 3:12-14). Even when buying something, you must hate greed and pay a fair price for it (Pr 20:14).
Heretics, like the mega-church gurus of today, profess gain to be godliness. But they are to be rejected for Jesus Christ’s pure doctrine – godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:3-10). Wise men despise riches and willingly give to others (I Tim 6:17-19).