Not in itself Wealth can be the source of great blessing when used properly. But money is indeed the world’s preeminent symbol of success and, as such, a constant threat to the soul’s primary loyalty. As evidence of this, we no longer question these “givens” about modern life.
- The company that writes your check owns your time.
- In any choice between work and leisure, family, or church, first priority must be given to work.
- Money belongs rightfully to the one who earns it or inherits it.
- Spending money on oneself is okay as long as you share with others, too.
Each of these “givens” is challenged by a biblical view of Christian discipleship because money easily brings opposition to God. Almost invariably, the more money a person possesses, the less faith is exercised, the less God is felt to be needed, the less patience one has toward the church, the less compassion one feels toward “have nots” (who, the thinking often goes, are poor because they are lazy). Money wars against the soul. Though many successful Christians speak about their first loyalty to God, almost none surrender their special standing in wealth. The seduction of money is best resisted by giving it away, which the Bible recognizes repeatedly as the preferred option. In relative poverty, it seems, the soul hungers for God all the more.
While wealth is considered a prerequisite for leaders in the church today (and the wealthy are fondly courted by nearly every Christian agency), nothing could be further from the biblical model. In contrast to the church’s capitulation to wealth’s allure, the Bible describes leaders who emerge from the gratefully remain at such levels of financial need that God’s supply is their sustenance, prayer their daily vigil, and simplicity their lifestyle.
1 TIMOTHY 6:10 – 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.