Four Biblical Thoughts on Riches
Does God want us to be rich?
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Are some preachers right when they say God wants us to be rich? They tell us we can get anything just by praying for it. Their lavish lifestyles seem to be an example of how God wants to “bless” us. Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and gave a strong NO to this idea. Here are 4 biblical thoughts on riches:
1. Be Content With God
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Timothy 6:6). This verse tells us that if we are believers in Christ and have a good relationship with God, we should be satisfied. We are already wealthy. On the other hand, when we place anything, including material things, above God, we make idols out of them. How terrible it would be if following Jesus helped us only in this life! (1 Corinthians 15:19) God may use the resources of wealthy people. But James 1:9-11 reminds us that material wealth adds nothing to our value. (Luke 12:15)
2. Eternity is What Matters
Whether we are rich or poor, none of our earthly goods will go with us to Heaven. “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it” (1 Timothy 6:7). The more we understand that Heaven is our true home, the less we will care about getting more stuff, and the more we will use our possessions for God’s glory. Then, we can be like the widow in Luke 21:1-4 who gave all she had and did not worry about what she kept for herself.
3. The Basics are Enough
The Bible talks about those whose "...thinking has been confused. They have lost their understanding of the truth. They think that devotion to God is a way to get rich.” (1 Timothy 6:5) However, Jesus warns how hard it is for rich people to follow Him (Matthew 19:16-26). But poverty does not measure godliness either. A great biblical model is the Apostle Paul, who said “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). We don’t need a lot of nice clothes, or to eat at fancy restaurants every day. We just need to work hard to provide for our families, and trust the Lord to meet our needs.
4. Riches Can Ruin Us
The Apostle Paul tells us the 10th Commandment, (“you shall not covet”), was the way God showed him the sin in his heart. (Romans 7:7) When we desire riches, it may lead us to lie, cheat or, in extreme cases, steal and murder! “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil . . .” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). But if we submit our lives to God and His Holy Spirit, He leads us to live in a way that helps and blesses others, and brings glory to Him.
Pray this week:
that God will help you use money and wealth to please Him
In what area do you struggle most when it comes to wealth - contentment, basics, eternity or coveting? Talk with somebody about it.