This week’s question: Is it a sin to be wealthy?

The Bible has much to say about money and material possessions. First and foremost is that we should never be so attached to them that they turn us from our God. The rich young ruler was one such person. Scripture tells us that when Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give to the poor, “he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions,” Matthew 19:22. In other words, his treasure was in his wealth. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Second, the Bible is often misquoted to say that “money is the root of all evil.” This is not what Paul says. In 1Timothy 6:10, he says,  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Money, itself, is not sinful. The love of money is. When we become so attached to having and making money for ourselves, we fall into the warning Paul issues. See also Matthew 19:23-4 and consider why Jesus says what He does.

Then we come to the third point. God blesses people, sometimes with wealth. If so, what does He expect of those He blesses? It is not a sin to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, Ecclesiastes 3:13. After we have received our good, what are we to do? 1 Timothy 6:18, Hebrews 13:16 among others teach us that we are to share our blessings with others, to give to those in need, to help our brethren, Galatians 6:10. We are to be hospitable, Romans 12:13. God blesses us so that we may bless others. We should use what God gives us to serve Him and others. The Bible offers stern warnings to those who have wealth and do not use it for God’s good, James 5:1ff.

We should think, also, on who exactly is a rich man. Most of us are blessed beyond our need and would be considered rich by the majority of the rest of the world. Are we using those blessings in the service of our Lord?

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