Should Christians Pursue Wealth?

What does the bible say about pursuing wealth?


For the poorest of paupers, she flaunts,
always the unreachable dream.
For the wealthiest of kings, she dances,
ruling his heart through cunning means.
Many long to touch her, to hold her,
and some have accomplished the task.
Her embrace is intoxication,
and in her essence, they long to bask.
Her existence causes war and ruin,
For the covetous heart will not abstain.
Their undying devotion she has won,
her praises fall from their lips like rain.
As whispered promises fill their thoughts,
Her provocative beauty captures their sight.
today, she fulfils the unquenchable desire,
Tomorrow, without warning, she takes flight.

By Summer Marrero Cordón

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
I Timothy 6:9-10 (NIV)

Having grown up at and, at times, below the poverty line I often experienced throughout my youth the desire to be wealthy.  I remember being made fun of in elementary school for wearing off-brand shoes purchased at the local discount store.  I have to admit, it stung. My mother’s focus was making sure her children had what they needed, so pursuing wealth was not on her to-do list.

It was probably at that moment that I felt like I didn’t measure up to everyone else because I was poor.  Perhaps subconsciously I believed there was a great cavern between my worth and the worth of those who could afford to have name-brand clothes and shoes. Was there something wrong with me? My family? Was it really so important to wear name-brand clothes and pursue wealth at all costs?

Related: Are You Working Too Much?

Little did I know, I wasn’t alone.  I’m certain that many can identify with my upbringing.  You may even be nodding your head as you read. We live in such a materialistic world, where the goal is often to pursue wealth and obtain social status.

It’s Better to be Financially Responsible than to Pursue Wealth

Money. Just the thought of it can conjure up all kinds of emotions and desires.  I wrote the poem, Obsession, about ten years ago as I was pondering its allure and influence.  We have given it more power than it’s worth and, unless we’re careful, we can easily lose control of our capacity to make healthy decisions.

I often tell the story of when I was given approval for my first credit card.  I was barely twenty-years-old and it was a student credit card that banks would give out with very low credit – but very high APR.  To me, it was free money!  No one explained to me how to use a credit card wisely.

Within a matter of months, I was in debt.  And, because I opted to pay only the minimum balance required, it took me years to pay off the card.

Never again!

I became a slave to that debt, you see.  And, again, I’m sure I’m not the only one!

The point of this article isn’t to tell you how to make a budget or how to spend your income.  My aim is to simply help us to reflect on the importance we place on something that is merely meant to be a tool.

Whether you’re a Christian who lives paycheck to paycheck, the owner of a business or among the top one percent in the world, we are all called to live wisely – not foolishly.  We’re called to love God above all things.

All the possessions we currently have are borrowed.  We are stewards – not owners.  God owns all things.  Once we change our mindset something in our hearts begins to shift.

We may possess money but money should never possess us.

Pursuing Wealth Will Never Satisfy You

Solomon was arguably both the richest and wisest man to have ever lived.  In his old age, he wrote the book, Ecclesiastes, which is filled with reflections about what he came to learn was of little value and what was most important.  He wrote these words: “He who loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This, too, is meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV

Now, God blessed Solomon with riches and great wisdom, but that blessing didn’t come with a guarantee that Solomon would always make the right choices.  In fact, he messed up quite a lot.  He often placed too much value and importance on his wealth and, in the end, Solomon recognized that the thing of most value was God Himself.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.'”  Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Another great teacher, the Apostle Paul, wrote, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  Philippians 4:12 NIV

He warns the believers about the dangers of loving money: “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 6:10b-11 NIV

The desire to be wealthy for personal gain is not godly.  The pursuit of material possessions is idolatry and is contrary to God’s will for the believer’s life.  In the end, it brings misery, which is not what the Father wants for us.  His will is for us to be completely satisfied in Him.

“Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4 NIV

Learn Contentment Instead of Pursuing Wealth

I have often dreamed of having a large house filled with lovely furniture, a stylish wardrobe and a late-model car.  I have kept the Holy Spirit busy because he is constantly reminding me to have an attitude of contentment.  My mind should be set on “things above, and not on earthly things”.

If we hold loosely to what we have, it will hurt less when it is taken away.  For it was never ours, to begin with.  God gives us things to use them for His glory, to teach us good management and to be generous toward others.

Every material thing on this earth will perish one day.  If we have a kingdom mindset and seek God before anything else then we’ll be the most satisfied of all people.

Let’s not allow the world to tell us what we need or to dictate what is of more value.  If God gives you wealth as a result of your hard, honest work – give him praise!  And use it wisely.  Don’t seek a lavish life which only draws attention to yourself. Instead, live modestly and invest in the things that will further God’s kingdom.

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35 thoughts on “Should Christians Pursue Wealth?

  1. Girl, I’ve been on a debt free journey for almost two weeks now. (Of course, I started before over and over, but I really buckled down on watching every penny recently including when I know I over spent and when I know I went over budget. I’m hoping the tracking can help me work out this debt I’ve enslaved myself to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too grew up poor. Learned my life lessons on credit cards. You don’t have to be rich to be rich in God . I loved this blog thanks for sharing.


  3. “But know this, that in the last days men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money…”2 tim 3:1-2 Isn’t it interesting this society we live in, it seems like everyone’s goal is to gain wealth. It was normal when I was growing up for families to struggle financially….and now, people almost view it as child abuse if your kid doesn’t have all the things. My blog is dedicated to encouraging moms to stay at home even if they think they can’t afford it….It’s almost like some families send mom to work so they can have that wealth. I am certain that if you ask the kids they would rather have mommy then have name brand jeans.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great post on this controversial topic about Christians and wealth! How much damage the so-called prosperity gospel has caused… Thank you for this powerful reminder to love God first and steward wisely what he has entrusted us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being wealthy as a Christian. I think the issue lies with how we use that wealth and how we view it. I know a lot of wealthy Christians who are able to do a lot of good because they have the flexibility to spend larger amounts of money. Whether that’s donating to the church, missionaries, adopting children, being extremely hospitable, etc. All of our possessions need to be used to glorify God and not ourselves. =]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to be focused on money and survival. I know I made myself vulnerable to the enemy by making that focus so important. God has helped me to make Him my Good Shepherd and trusting He will provide all our needs. While I focus on Him completely (and my husband faithfully tithes so God has access to our finances), He has been bringing plenty into our lives and keeping us safe from the devour.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are so right! Money is simply a tool. We can chose to glorify God with it, or we can idolize and worship it. Instead of trying to make my home on earth more comfortable, I would so much rather be storing up treasures in heaven!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have lived both with scrounging for change in my couch cushions and not really having to worry too much about money. Through it all, God provided and directed me. But it wasn’t until I had to clean out my parent’s house after their passing that I truly saw how useless our “things” are. Our treasure awaiting us in heaven is my goal!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I grew up below the poverty level. Then, as an adult, my husband and I floated above and below it often. It is so tempting to covet and focus on money, particularly when you don’t have much of it. Learning contentment is usually as desirable as praying for patience! However, it’s exactly what we need.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. i used to struggle to get brand clothing. Ever since i received Christ, that attitude vanished from me. you are so correct “our mind should be set on things above, and not on earthly things”.
    Money answers all, but the love of money is the root of all evil. Thanks for sharing sis.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My son is a CAP co-ordinator for his church. CAP stands for Christians Against Poverty and he loves being able to get people turned around from their debts to living a life full of what they themselves is freedom even when they have to be on a strict budget. The best thing is that he gets to share the gospel and often see their lives changed through Christ as well. When we see this – why would we put money before all else.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Being content is so key, rather than chasing things that are eternally perishable. A hard subject indeed. But important for us to place in perspective where our eternal treasures lie!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the poem, it was the perfect intro to this post! I really think you covered the topic of money and wealth perfectly. You may be able to relate to this: in El Salvador, many people assume I am rich because I’m a gringa, or that I grew up spoiled, when in reality my dad worked 3 jobs as a janitor just so my siblings and I could go to a Christian school. I understand why people think that way because compared to many here I have been blessed. I have always had all that I needed, but like you said, there were times I was still considered poor by the US standards.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Money can be a very great source of temptation, when we have too much, or when we have too little. Thank you for this reminder that all we have is simply borrowed from God. That we are only stewards of it. And are to use it all for His glory! Loved your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. In the mid-to-late-90’s I came across the “prosperity gospel” movement. I even read Hank Hanagraaf’s book “Christianity in Crisis” regarding the problems within the Charismatic and Prosperity Gospel movement and teachings. It seemed to have devastated many faithful Christians. Today, I hear many people (within and without the Christian community) share that the money is the root of all evil. I sometimes correct them and say that it is not money itself – it is the love of money that is at the heart and root of all evil. It is tide to pride and selfishness. Thank you for sharing this insight as it still rings true today.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this post. We can get so caught up in the idea of keeping up with the Jones’s. A few scriptures come to mind. Blessed are the poor. It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Seek ye first the kingdom of God. I think that money can be a snare for a lot of people. While I don’t think having money is always a bad thing, I believe that we should be careful that having money doesn’t have us. Blessings, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s so important to keep God first in all things so that our desires are pure. I believe if that’s the case, the love of money is uprooted and tossed aside. Like you and these verses point out, getting those priorities confused is where the problem lies!

    Liked by 1 person

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