Make This Money...Don't Let It Make You! (Wealth & Christianity)
So here’s a question: Can you be rich and be a Christian?
I think that is a layered question that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Now, the United States of America is considered the richest country in the world so on one hand, people from other countries can look at all of us Americans and say that we have more than the majority of the world. I do agree that here in America we have more than enough but even in America there are still poor among us. This is only to point out that what wealth is subjective to an extent.
I wanted to pose this question because in a society where being successful & acquiring as much as you can seems to be the goal at times…truly where are our souls in the matter? Where are our hearts?
Welp…you know us at SoulSense…let’s see what the Bible says about money:
“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV
2. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NIV
3. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
4. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV
5. That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NIV
6. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.” Deuteronomy 28:12 NIV
7. “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10 NLT
8. “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. Proverbs 23:4-5 NLT
9. “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV
10. “Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!” Psalms 119:36 NLT
Now, I know that was a lot of scripture & there are many more that speak about money but here on our platform, we really want to be clear that our standard is the Bible & that is what we follow. There are many examples of those in the Bible that misused money and those in the Bible that used money as a tool. When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of the heart. Note the fifth scripture above: Solomon’s desire was not for more wealth, possessions, or honor but the wisdom to govern God’s people. I mean, my goodness, the CREATOR tells you to ask for ANYTHING and your desire is to govern God’s people appropriately?! That’s the right heart. And the icing on the cake was that God blessed it anyway and gave him everything along with the wisdom but the right heart was present FIRST!
So here are some questions we all need to ask ourselves: Where is your treasure? Do you love money more than you love anything else in this world or do you view money as a way to help others, truly help others in a way to catapult the kingdom of God?
I don’t believe we should guilt those who happen to have more money because the reality of it is, there are many different types of professions that come with specialized skills that are reimbursed at a higher level. Those are just the facts! If someone has gone to school and have perfected their craft, I see nothing wrong with someone earning a high salary. The sheer fact that they’re in that position shows that they have practice discipline and have invested much time and most likely their money into acquiring that skill. But what I believe must happen is that we should not put our worth/value in how much money we make nor should we judge others by their financial status neither. Using the disciples in Acts as our examples, we should use our resources so that no one among us is lacking. I believe that’s why I love the scripture in the first book of Peter (#7)…every gift that we are given should be used it to serve one another. Also, let’s think deeper and realize that’s not just spiritual gifts, it’s anything that God has given us…the gift of marriage, the gift of singleness, the gift of children, the gift of money/career. VIRTUALLY ANYTHING! Why do I say this? I’m glad you asked: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
So in closing, here’s some food for thought: Are you using your money and resources to serve others and to ADVANCE the kingdom of God? If not, then what can you do to change that? Let’s keep the conversation going and drop your comments below! Lastly, Melvin and I recorded a podcast episode about this very thing last week. I’ll post the LINK HERE so you can take a listen. Aight, that’s all I got…talk to y’all later!!!