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Rich Christians
December 2, 2006, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Does God care if we are wealthy?

I didn’t ask if God wants us to be wealthy. Does God care if we are wealthy?

If, for what ever reason, a Christian has been “blessed” with large amounts of money, can that make him or her less of a Christian? Are they doing something wrong? Can they do more with what they have?

Let me start this by saying that I am not wealthy. Everyone who reads this blog, and knows me, can attest to that. Nor, do I have problems with people that do have money. My question is simply; Does God care about a dollar amount that we posses? Should there be some sort of “cut-off” limit to what Christians should own?

I’m not totally convinced that God cares how much money is in our accounts, assets, retirement, ect. I think Christians can be millionaires and Christians can be broke. I think what ever amount is sitting in (or not in) your bank account, it’s important to remain faithful to the one who provided it. What seems to be the challenge, is to not get caught up in what you own and can buy, but rather, how much you can help. Does money change your faith? Does it strengthen your trust in God, or weaken it?

Let’s hear some thoughts on how you feel God views wealth, and people with it.

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12 Comments so far
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I think how much money we make is not so much an issue. God “cares in that he provides that income and the bible is clear – to me anyway – that God gives wealth to some people.

But I do think it matters tremendously what we own. I think we’re to live on what we need – on what I call “enough.” And as what we make increases, what we live on, what we keep for ourselves, shouldn’t. Out “standard of living” need not increase along with our income.

I’m not sure what “enough” is, but at least I’m thinking about it now – a little late I afraid – and realize that whatever it is should be unchangeable regardless of the size of my bank account.

Comment by Shaun Groves

“What seems to be the challenge, is to not get caught up in what you own and can buy, but rather, how much you can help.”

So true.

Its hard to let go of cash. I am always wanting to stick cash away and let it sit and collect interest while my sister needs new carpet in her house.

I might justify it by saying “oh well, in a few years it will be a bunch more and I can help a bunch more.” I think that God starts to care how much you have if the safety of that money takes precident over an immediate need for Charity.

I heard that M.W. Smith, Amy Grant, and some other biggies were going to do this CD raising money for Wes King when he was undergoing cancer treatment. THen I heard that their labels put a stop to it because of some contract-cash issues.

I think that sucks. The safety of the money trumped the Charity.

Comment by Seth Ward

Also, I bet that balance gets even harder when you’ve got kids.

Comment by Seth Ward

I have to disagree with Shaun. I don’t think it matters what we own. I think it matters that we are listening to the Lord and submitting our finances to Him.

My grandparents were relatively wealthy. They owned a couple sailboats, a lake house and beach house and a nice home outside Chicago.

They met and mingled with people that related to sailing and travel. They sailed with them, went RVing with them and shared Jesus with them. If they had never changed their “standard of living” from the one room farmhouse they started out in, there are a number of people who might not be believers today. In addition, I might not be born because they might never have met my mother and introduced her to my father if they had not attended a relatively extravagantly priced Hospital fundraising dinner.

Just my 2 cents.

Comment by kat

I suppose I just don’t think we can put a number or a limit or a rule on how God gives or wants us to handle our finances. I think it’s really a heart and Holy Spirit issue. I think He leads different people down different paths for different purposes.

Besides, aren’t we already living extravagantly compared to believers in other nations?

Good topic Brody.

Comment by kat

That was going to be my next comment….

Can living with “enough” interfere with saving for kids college, or an unexpected broken car, or broken water heater, or the surprise expenses that come with raising a growing family? Is there room for a savings account in this theory? How much is too much to “tuck away”?
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I agree with you Seth, in that, if the “protection” of money becomes more important than using it for charity, something is wrong.
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I think many of us know the “rich Christians” that are very giving and are “living right” with what they have been given. Why is it that they get a bad rap when they have a nice house, cars, pools ect. when they are possibly giving more (in percentage) than I am? Is God rewarding them? Are they blessed more because of what they are giving?
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I wish I could translate better what I am thinking, but I think what I am wondering is; Should wealthy Christians feel guilty about being wealthy? Why? If their heart is in the right place, why do other Christians make them feel bad about it?

I put lines in this comment because it is several different responses, and not one thought.

Comment by Brody Harper

I don’t think wealthy Christians should feel guilty.

I think greedy Christians should, but greedy Christians are at all income levels.

Comment by kat

I heard Ed Young Sr. say one time:

“You can bless yourself, but bless others as much or more.”

I don’t know, treasures here won’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things. When I think about wealth I always think about the end of Schindler’s list where he was weeping over how his gold ink pen or his Nazi party pen could have saved another few lives. I guess you can ask yourself at the end of the day “What kingdom have I built? My own or God’s?”

When we get to the other side of things the money and wealth that we look back on will seem pretty frivolous to the wealth that we enjoy from treasures we have stored there.

I know this family in Nashville. The dad is the president of that Batman building. They are ALWAYS opening their beautiful home to people (including us) and they give GENEROUSLY to their church and the poor. It always seems like what they have is shared with others even though it is “theirs”. It seems more like stewardship than ownership. They drive nice cars and live in a beautiful home but the thought of criticism never enters your mind because they are so giving.

I guess you could look at wealth here as okay as long as it serves in some way to amplify or assist in storing things that won’t rot or spoil later.

I see Kat’s grandparents falling in that category from what she has said.

Comment by Seth Ward

well,
I think we have what we have because thats what we made of ourselves. God gives handouts but I think we are responsable for the well being of what were given. these things are obviouse…

a prime example would be my car. I was given it to me by a friend because I was stupid and crashed my other one while I was drunk and falling asleep at 3am trying to drive from Sac – Arcata.

Do I take care of my new.old car? do I still drive drunk? If I do these things will I be less likely to be given things of worth in the future?

yet to be seen, and I dont mean to set myself up for it but doubt that I personaly will ever own a car worth more than $5000.

Comment by rlh27

I put a lot more stock in what one does with one’s possessions than what those possessions are. I know people with hugondoid houses that sit empty most of the time, and others who have very large homes that are always filled by travelers or people who need a room for the night. Do you take what God has given and use it as He would, or do you use it for personal / selfish reasons? Aye, there’s the rub.

I’m getting into this conversation a little late, because its been a long weekend. Friday night and most of Saturday I was helping with a project our small group at church does, “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” day. This is essentially a garage sale, but all items are free. The people in our church donate whatever (clothes, furniture, household items) and we advertise to the community, bring in some people from a poor inner-city church, and let them take what they need. What’s interesting is, in helping organize, seeing the “discards” of people – from the trash they won’t personally put in the dumpster to the used stuff that is nicer than some of my new stuff. The things we have that we can readily get rid of, though, does seem to indicate the excesses to which we tend to hold.

Comment by euphrony

How would God use extra money? Would he put away for college funds? Or would he use just enough to survive and worry about college later?

I totally understand using what God has given you to survive, but what about the excess? What about the times where you have given amazing amounts and still have extra? (I wish I had this problem, but wonder if I could handle it right.)

Comment by Brody Harper

Here’s what I think:
I don’t think there’s a “right or wrong” answer. I think that there are lots of questions that God leaves unanswered in the Bible so that we have that much more motivation to seek Him on a daily, moment by moment basis.

It’s human nature to want to know the rules and exactly what we should and shouldn’t do and God definitely outlines a lot of those for us, but I think there are so many questions that are going to hve different answers for different people because we all wear different shoes and have different things that God wants us to do.

When we go to church with my girls they often run ahead to their class because they know exactly where it is. I’m glad they’re so comfortable there, but I have to admit that I enjoy taking them to a new place where they’re a little unsure and cling to my neck and just want me to hold them.

I wonder if God isn’t much different.

Comment by kat




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