Cannot one have both spiritual riches and an abundance of material things? Perhaps, but only one of these can be successfully pursued. Jesus said: “You cannot slave for God and for Riches.” (Matthew 6:24b) Why not? Because the pursuit of spiritual riches and material riches implies a conflict. The one interferes with the other. Thus, before telling his disciples to store up spiritual riches, Jesus said: “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth.”—Matthew 6:19.
If one disregards Jesus’ counsel and tries to pursue both spiritual and material riches, what will happen? Jesus said: “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24a) When one pursues both, then spiritual matters, even if cared for out of a sense of duty, may become a nuisance that always seems to be getting in the way. Instead of looking to God, one might even look to money and what it buys as the primary means of coping with life’s anxieties. It is as Jesus said: “Your heart will always be where your riches are.”—Matthew 6:21, Today’s English Version.
Each Christian does well to consider such Bible counsel seriously before deciding where he will focus his time, his attention, and his heart. Just because God does not provide specific limits on how much a Christian can acquire does not mean that His warnings against greed carry no penalty. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Those who disregard Bible counsel and cultivate a determination to be rich suffer spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, as we have seen. (Galatians 6:7) By contrast, Jesus said that those who are sensitive to their spiritual needs will be happy. (Matthew 5:3) Certainly our Creator and his Son know what is best for our happiness and welfare!—Isaiah 48:17, 18.