Today I'd like to tackle a difficult topic. Every Christian surely has struggled with thoughts about becoming rich: is it a godly thing to do? It's not always easy to understand how God views wealth. However, the Bible does have a lot to say about the topic of money. So let's start there, with the Bible.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. – Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV
When you read the verse above, did it lead you to believe that Christians should not acquire wealth? Read it again carefully. The verse says “do not wear yourself out” to get rich. This is an important distinction to make. This passage is talking to those people who toil and strain to become wealthy. Clearly, if you're putting all your effort into becoming rich and wearing yourself out, your heart is in the wrong place. Aren't we supposed to be focused on God? The verse is not saying that the pursuit of wealth is evil. Let's explore another verse:
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. – Proverbs 11:28 NIV
Here we get the same sense as the first verse. Trusting in riches is not of God. Trusting in God to provide, now that is where we need to be! The righteous will always thrive, and don't we obtain that righteousness from Jesus Christ, the one in whom we trust?
The Bible also has a lot to say about what we do with wealth. For example:
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous. – Proverbs 13:22
It's clear that wealth can be used for good or evil. A sinner's wealth, however, will eventually end up in the hands of the righteous. Christians must decide how they are going to use their wealth.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. – Matthew 6:24 NIV
Jesus made it clear that Money can be a false god. The last thing a Christian wants to do is have their wealth become their god. It's crucial to check in with our thoughts and intentions to ensure that our wealth is not glorified. We are only to give glory to God, and God alone. That doesn't mean, however, that God wants us to be unwise with our money. The Lord desires us to manage our finances, health, relationships, and life responsibly.
The Bottom Line
So, do Christians and wealth mix? Is it possible to accumulate wealth and still be called a Christian? I believe so. I know one thing: God wants us to give away as much wealth as is reasonable while still taking care of our families. Giving is a joy that can't be measured.
This is why I've dedicated myself and my blog the pursuit of giving Godly financial advice. Money is something that we must deal with whether we like it or not. If we have to use money, we better use it in a Godly way! If anyone must have wealth, it should be the people who are more likely to use it wisely.
I'm excited that so many financial blogs have set themselves apart as Christian, including Bible Money Matters. There's a great need for biblical financial advice! Do you have a Christian financial blog? What are some of the principles you teach? And, what do you think about the topic of Christians and wealth? Let's hear from you in the comments!