Is Pursuing Christian Wealth Worth the Spiritual Risk?

Is Pursuing Christian Wealth Worth the Spiritual Risk?

The Pursuit of Christian Wealth is riskyI read a lot of personal finance bloggers, many of them Christian.  It seems to me that many of them ask “Can we?” in regard to Christian wealth, but rarely ask if we should. Dave Ramsey, for example, talks a lot about handling money God’s way.  He says that God’s way will lead to having a lot of money that you can give away later after you are established.  Very similar to the prosperity gospel I was a part of; the goal was always to get more money for the sake of God’s kingdom, but it would make us wealthy along the way.

There is no specific text in scripture that says the accumulation of wealth is a sin.  However, there are enough warnings given concerning money and the love of it that we should ask if we should be pursuing wealth, at the same rate and with the same intensity as the rest of the world, is really worth it.  For example:

Matthew 19 – After telling the rich young ruler to sell all that he has he turns to his disciples and says “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.”

 The disciples were astonished because they saw wealth as a direct sign of God’s blessing.  If that person couldn’t enter the kingdom then who could? This is because money clouds our vision and prevents us from seeing our need for God’s grace.  (And no there is no evidence of a small door called the “eye of the needle” that camels had to crawl through)

1 Tim –[6] But godliness with contentment is great gain, [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. [8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. [9] But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. [10] For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Paul calls to be content with food and clothing because of the inherent dangers in the pursuit of wealth.  Of course, we don’t pursue money for it’s own sake.  Of all the Christians pursuing wealth, not one of them would say it is for their own sake. Paul seems to be warning a Christian that no longer exists in our day.  We only want money for the good it can do, but Paul didn’t seem to be to concerned about our good intentions.  He seems to think the risk wasn’t worth the results.  The very thing we pursue with such vigor can tempt and draw us to destruction.  Is it worth the risk?

I know I am taking a hard stand and I would love to hear your comments below as I process this.

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About the author

Jason administrator

Jason is the founder of Considering Stewardship he has a passion for helping people to steward all of their resources as gifts from God. Time, money, and Talent.

2 Comments so far

RyanPosted on11:31 pm - Aug 5, 2015

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I’ve been thinking about getting into real estate (i.e. landlording) down the road when I have more saved up, but I’ve been thinking about the possible spiritual implications. It’s something that can obviously lead to a lot of good (providing quality housing, esp to vulnerable populations, while treating people in a Christian manner) but I don’t know how it would affect how I would treat people or view houses. Is that house a part of the fabric of a neighborhood that can provide something pretty much physically essential to a family or is it just another potential acquisition that will compliment my portfolio? I’ll probably give it some time, prayer, and read related books before I ever consider doing anything along those lines. I don’t think that Jesus calls us to necessarily renounce all our wealth, but we do need to consider it nothing in comparison to the kingdom of God. That is probably very difficult to do for most people. I also don’t think Christians are called to give up all areas of power or influence. I read “Rescuing Ambition” a while ago but found it of little value, probably mostly because I generally don’t consider myself a very ambitious person. Obviously ambition is not the same as wealth but I might re-read that book sometime with this in mind.

    JasonPosted on8:01 am - Aug 6, 2015

    Ryan, thanks for the thoughtful response. I don’t think the Bible tells us to renounce wealth. But it has many warnings about the pursuit of wealth and I have rarely met a Christian that took them seriously while. We will say we are doing things for the right reasons (whatever we deem them to be), but never consider the implications or impact the Bible says the pursuit can have on our souls.

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