Topic / Stewardship

Can You Be Rich & A Christian?


When I was a kid I told my parents I was going to play professional baseball and buy them a house bigger than the school administration building across the street. I planned to be rich. 
 
Most of us desire to be rich. In fact, I’ve never met a person who wanted to be poor. But we walk a very dangerous line when we have the goal of being rich.
 
God says, “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.” (1 Timothy 6:9)
 
Tempted. Ensnared. Plunged into ruin and destruction. None of these things are on your list of goals for the new year and yet they are the byproduct of desiring to be rich. This is the eventual outcome.
 
Am I saying money is bad? Am I saying all Christians should be poor?
 
No.

There are plenty of rich people mentioned in the Bible and not all of them were called to sell all that they had and give it to the poor. But every Christian is called to choose who or what will be the driving force of our lives: God or money?

Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13)
 
Jesus spoke these words when he knew the Pharisees were listening because they were lovers of money (Luke 16:14). It is possible to be very religious and be a lover of money. But Jesus says it is not possible to be a lover of God and a lover of money. These two things war against each other and Jesus says we must choose.

So the question is: Have you chosen? Have you laid down the goal of being rich? 

This is a choice we will have to make over and over again in life, sometimes daily. We live a world driven by the love of money. It is the current that always pulls us.

But I want to call us back to the reality that Scripture presents: “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.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
 
None of us plan to walk away from the faith this year, but this just happens unless we lay our financial position on the altar before God. Surrender is where we start. Then, the next step is to set your course toward a higher goal.

It’s not bad to be rich, but being rich is a bad goal. A better goal is to be rich in good works. God’s word actually invites you, “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…” (1 Timothy 6:18).
 
Whether you ever have great riches or not, you have the opportunity to be rich in good works, to have your life overflowing with the good you do for others in Jesus’ name.

You and I have the unique chance to serve God’s purposes in our generation. Our mission in life is so much greater than money because God is greater than money. 
 
So my call to you is to choose this day whom you will serve. As the new year kicks off, I would implore you to make serving God your greatest goal, your driving force, your deepest passion. He will provide everything you need. You will not be disappointed. Instead, you will be rich with true riches and take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).


John Rinehart ,
John Rinehart , Founder & Leader of gospelpatrons.org
and the author of the book Gospel Patrons
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