About 30 miles outside of Washington, DC, Heather Kelly noticed what looked like “a snow globe of cash” on Interstate Highway 270. An armored truck had failed to secure its rear door, and the money was airborne. Roughly 30 cars lined the highway as motorists pulled over and tried to grab the $5,700 in bills that had escaped the truck. Kelly recalled, “People had fists full of money, fists full of dollars.”

For some of us, the prospect of instant wealth holds endless appeal. Casinos, lottery tickets, risky business deals, and even high-tech treasure hunts are the stuff of our dreams. The Bible says, however, “A person who wants quick riches will get into trouble” (Proverbs 28:20).

Trouble comes when we lose more than we make while trying to strike it rich. This happens because get-rich-quick schemes are designed to take in money, rather than to provide the promised “big returns.” And many financial ploys succeed because they stoke our greed. “Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty” (Proverbs 28:22). Need proof? Ever heard someone say, “I’m so glad I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on losing lottery tickets!” or “My bookie has helped me achieve financial stability”?

God’s Word says that steady work throughout our years leads to financial well-being. “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; [but] wealth from hard work grows over time” (Proverbs 13:11). So the clerical assistant or mail carrier who labors diligently for decades has a better chance of ending up with wealth than the guy who spends his lunch hour betting on sporting events (Proverbs 10:4).

What’s your perspective on money? Although the Bible says there’s more to life than acquiring wealth (Proverbs 22:1), it’s up to you to decide. Will you commit to a lifetime of labor, or chase the fleeting dream of fast cash?

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 2:11-25