The burdens of prosperity

(Thomas Watson, "The Lord's Prayer")

People are usually better in adversity, than prosperity.
A prosperous condition is not always so safe. True, it
is more pleasing to the flesh—but it is not always best.
In a prosperous state, there is more burden. Many
look at the shining and glittering of prosperity—but
not at the burdens of prosperity.

[1] There is the burden of CARE. Therefore God calls
riches "cares." Luke 8:14. A rose has its prickles—so
have riches. We think them happy, who flourish in
their silks and gold—but we do not see the troubles
and cares which attend them! A shoe may have silver
lace on it—yet pinch the foot. Many a man who goes
to his hard labor, lives a more contented life than he
who has millions. Disquieting care is the evil spirit
which haunts the rich man. When his chests are full
of gold—his heart is full of care how to increase them,
or how to secure what he has gotten. A large estate,
like a long, trailing garment—is often more
troublesome than useful.

[2] In a prosperous estate there is the burden of
ACCOUNT. Such as are in high places, have a far
greater account to give to God than others. "Unto
whom much is given—of him shall be much required."
The more golden talents any are entrusted with—the
more they have to answer for. The more their revenues
—the more their reckonings. God will say, "I gave you
a great estate—what have you done with it? How have
you employed it for My glory?"

[3] A prosperous condition has more DANGER in it.
Such as are on the top of the pinnacle of honor—are
in more danger of falling. They are subject to many
temptations. Their table is often a snare. Millions are
drowned in the sweet waters of pleasure.

A large sail overturns the vessel. Many, by having a too
large sail of prosperity, have had their souls overturned!
He has need have much wisdom and grace, to know how
to wisely bear a high condition. It is hard to carry a full
cup without spilling—and a full estate without sinning!

Prosperity breeds pride. When the tide rises higher in
the river, the boat rises higher; so, when the tide of an
estate rises higher, many men's hearts rise higher in
pride. Prosperity breeds carnal security. Samson fell
asleep in Delilah's lap—so do men in the lap of ease
and plenty. The world's golden sands, are quicksands.

God knows what is best for us. If we have less estate, we
are in less danger. If we lack the riches and honors of
others—so we lack their temptations. "How hard it is for
rich people to get into the Kingdom of God! It is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a
rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" Luke 18:24-25.