The prison in discussion for today is COVETOUSNESS or greed. Covetousness is the desire to posses, whether it be things, land or wealth. It is the desire to take ownership when the reality is that all things belong to God. The closest we can come to ownership is really stewardship, that is to manage it for a time, for the owner. When a person dies he leaves everything behind and it doesn’t matter how much or how little he had, it is all left behind :His ownership is temporary at best.
The problem with having possessions is that it is a short step before the pride of wealth possesses you. 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. This verse does not say the money is the root of all evil but it does say the the “love of money” is the root of all kinds of evil. Wealth is not evil but the love of it is. Once the love of money takes control, it demands more and more. When Howard Hughes was asked how much wealth it would take to satisfy him he answered, “just a little more.” Wealth becomes the warden and the person becomes the prisoner. The demand for more drives one to compromise himself and to do almost anything to get more.
As wealth is increased, so also is the demand upon that wealth. Ec 5:11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? Not only are the demands of its use increased but also the care it takes to protect it. It is an awful taskmaster and knows no limits in its cruelty.
When a rich man asked Jesus what must I do to inherit eternal life, Jesus answered him, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me” Matthew 19:21 I don’t know of a better answer to how to be free from the grip of wealth than that plan. The next verse says he went away grieved; for he had great possessions. In other words, his faith was in his riches and not in Christ. He could have been free but it was his choice to remain a prisoner. You must hold possessions loosely for the Lord’s use or the possessions will hold you.