Being filthy rich as Christian: is it wrong?

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You can’t eat your cake and have it back
There’s a fundamental fact of life: You can’t eat your cake and have it back. Ever heard of that proverb? I have too, and I never really believed it till my recent study of the scriptures. There’s another fact of life most people are not getting: One person can’t do everything, so concentrate on what you can do and do it well. With that said, saying “Yes” to one opportunity automatically means saying “No” to all the other possibilities and options you could have explored.
 I know this is too much information to digest, so sit down and reflect on it for a moment. Now let’s continue. You may be wondering: “What has this got to do with Christianity or this blog?” Jesus however endorsed the principles I have explained above and upon this foundation I lay my arguments. According to the bible, saying “Yes” to the love of money and this world automatically means saying “No” to heaven. Note: I said the “Love of Money”. Yeah! This is actually true. I’d like to explain the concepts above with an atypical biblical scenario. Jesus brought a lot of happiness to those he encountered. There were those instances however when an encounter with him ended in sadness. I present such a scenario below:

In the book of Mark, a story is told of a young rich man who once approached Jesus. The fact that he was young and rich shows that he needed neither money nor healing from Jesus. Indeed, the bible says this man needed eternal life and hence wanted to know what to do. Jesus told him to obey the law, and this man replied by saying that

“…Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth. “

When he said this:”

21 … Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 22 But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions.”

The bible explains that this man left in great sorrow because he had so much, so much that he trusted and loved those possessions, to the point where it hindered him from heaven. What this means is that he said “Yes” to the love of money and automatically said “No” to the Kingdom of God.

After he left, Jesus concluded by saying that:

“… How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

The cost of riches
The verse above summarizes it all. You now know what it will cost you to be rich: It’s almost impossible for you to enter the kingdom of God if you are rich.  I say so because Jesus’s analogy says so. A dromedary camel, the camel more common in the Middle Easts, is about 7.6 feet in shoulder height. Comparing this to 0.003 Feet, as the eye of a needle, the camel is about 2533 times bigger than the eye of a needle. It will therefore be hilarious for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle. With that said, its almost impossible if not impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

The great deception
Now, I know the verses and illustrations above sends shivers around the spine of the wealthy in society, because it has been largely misinterpreted. I however want to emphasize that, when Jesus said that it is hard for the rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven, he was not referring to the wealthy in society; he was in fact referring to all of us.  I strongly take this stance because of my knowledge of scripture. If the rich did not have eternal life, then why were some of God’s chosen people rich themselves? Abraham, Job, David and King Solomon (just to name a few) were very wealthy people in their days. As a matter of fact, in my own calculation, I found Job, a very upright man who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1) to be worth about $10,580,000 during his time. Jesus’ definition of the rich was therefore in allusion to anyone who has an earthly treasure in his life, an earthly treasure so precious that the person’s heart was stolen away from God. Like happened to the young rich man, such people love their possessions and treasures so much that it prevents them from God.  I know Jesus said in Luke 6:20, 24 & 38

20”…Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God…24 But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.”

In the verse above, Jesus was not referring to the peasants as having the kingdom of God! Yes, he was referring to the poor, but not peasants. In fact he was talking to the poor in spirit! Those who are empty inside and agree they need God to fill them and help them in everything they do. Hallelujah!

I know what you’re thinking. What about Luke 16:13:

13″ No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

In the verse above Jesus uses a love/hate comparison. What God therefore cares about is how you esteem your wealth in comparison to him. You should therefore not put any treasure or item you have above God in essence. In order words: Fulfill the first commandment. Do not have any other God besides the most high. What I’m driving at is that do not love money more than God or trust in your riches above God. To illustrate the love/hate comparison, consider a poor widow whose only friend is her cat. She loves her cat so much that she doesn’t want to leave it to pray or read her bible. In the words of Jesus, that woman is rich and it would be difficult to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

The conclusion of the matter
How then shall I conclude, is being wealthy wrong? Certainly not! God is not against the wealthy.  He is however against those who regard their riches as a means to salvation. He is also against those who love money and place it in high esteem above him. Such people would do anything to acquire wealth even if it means disobeying God (like the young rich man), killing or hurting others. 1Tim 6:10 says that “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” In my opinion therefore, it’s not being rich that’s the problem. It’s how you love your wealth in relation to God that matters. Don’t serve God AND wealth, serve God WITH your wealth. What do you think?

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  • Anwar Tammam

    Everything we have belongs to God. We are to serve God and uplift the Kingdom with Wealth for the good will of others. Place others needs before your own , and God will continue to Bless YOU! He blesses us to serve others by blessing them in their time of need and despair.

    Art

    • http://www.facebook.com/yaw.ansong.9 Yaw Ansong

      Amen! God bless you so much Anwar. Share this truth with your friends.

  • olivia

    What about Abraham he was filthy rich before God called him and he became even richer afterwards
    There are also many examples of rich people in the bible who were true worshippers. Let us rember that it’s the love for the riches that is bad not the riches in themselves. Pls christians lets rid ourselves and our descendants of the poverty mentality. We cannot be at the receiving end all the time. It more blessed to give than to receive. If I remember well we shall be lenders and not borrowers . Food for thought.

    • Yaw Ansong

      Exactly the point

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