Is it okay to be rich in worldly riches?


For example, I worked up to get a job that earns a lot of dollars per month, so I get rich. Is it okay? If I asked God to make me rich, is it okay? I remember that in the Bible, it says, it’s more possible for a camel to pass on the hole of a needle than a rich person to go to heaven? Does that mean the rich has less chance to go to heaven than the non rich?

I know some people think God made them rich, do you believe them?


While I do not like the Gospel of wealth, if you are rich you should use your treasure wisely.


This is an easy question…just look at what Jesus said about rich people…I believe it went something like this, “it is more difficult for a rich person to enter heaven than a camel to go thru the eye of a needle”

Pretty easy to determine what that means in my opinion, but of course, some people will try to twist his words to accommodate whats ‘popular’ in our modern western world, so rich people dont feel so bad about being rich.

Then theres the wedding party Jesus was at, the man asked him, " I have followed everything in the bible and have tried to live the best life I could, what else can I do"? Jesus told him to sell all his worldly riches and give it all to the poor, and then follow him…If this was the case back then, I doubt Jesus/ God has changed his views on this just because it is 2014 and the world is much different now.

I think its one of many biblical verses that dont ‘mesh’ too well with our modern popular culture and what we are led to believe is important to exist in this culture, so the interpretation is ‘twisted’ or interpreted in such a way, that does not seem as harsh as what it truly means…in other words, ‘sugar-coating’.


God has no interest in making anyone rich and such prayers are ignored. I’m not really sure what is considered “rich” though. Some would say a million dollars would make one rich, but in reality a million dollars probably wouldn’t even get me to retirement age before it’s gone. Would Christ agree that such an amount makes one rich when stretched out over a number of years it would probably be just enough to get by? What good is being rich if you lose eternal life over it? I’d like to have just enough so I don’t have to worry about money, but not so much that I’m considered “rich.”


Some people rich in material things were St Louis, king of France, and Saint Elizabeth, a queen of Hungary. I don’t remember hearing anything about being their wealth being a barrier to their holiness.
However, a priest I know said money is a good servant but a poor master.
Being rich can be a temptation though, I think. Perhaps that is why Jesus said it is difficult for a rich person to be saved in his parable about the camel. Personally, I haven’t asked to be rich, but I only want enough money for living. Some Protestants believe that if someone is a good Christian, God will reward them with material things. But this is not the Catholic view.


Well, it’s a hard question on the one hand, because King Solomon was extraordinarily wealthy, and his wealth was not a barrier to his relationship to God, or so it seemed. He didn´t run out and give away all his possessions. However, there does seem to be sort of like a kind of evolution in the Bible of values.

In the case of the man in question, Christ was also there, at that moment, in the flesh, asked him to become a disciple. The man chose money over discipleship.

Though Christ is here, it´s not in the same way as it was at that time.

We also saw reference to the Queen of Sheba, as well, and she was not expected to live an impoverished lifestyle, as royalty. So, it probably also depends on one´s station in life, as well.

I guess then that it may depend on some factors. Some people are also called to give up everything and be disciples, in that way, but I don´t think all of us are called to do that.

As to wealth, I´m not actually sure where that fits in to the equation, to be honest. I suppose I wrestle with the same questions, myself, how much is too much. Some say it’s our attachment to wealth, not the wealth itself, that becomes problematic. I’m not sure how that all works. I’ll let someone else field this question.


Even popes seem to have a lot of possessions about, and yet some have become saints, as well. Again, I suppose it depends what the wealth is…was it accumulated honestly, and how is it being used, what the person’s station is in life…etc.

If someone has made a vow of poverty, then it can be argued that accumulation of wealth is not okay in that circumstance. The other circumstances are probably more on a one-by-one, individual basis according to each circumstance.

Great question, incidentally! :thumbsup::clapping::yup:


People who have few material possessions must rely on God much more than wealthy people do. The danger for the wealthy arises from the belief that they can have all they need just by buying it, and that since they view money as a possession, they may do with it however they wish, even to the detriment of society. Attachment to wealth is a sin, not wealth itself.

You must, however, be POOR IN SPIRIT. If you are wealthy, recognize that it is indeed a gift from God, and that God’s gifts are given to us to use wisely and to share. You must be willing to give it all away, if that is what God one day asks of you.

In Luke 19, Zacchaeus was extremely wealthy, and Jesus did not ask him to give away all that he had. Zacchaeus, though, freely gave what he did not need, and that was good.


I thought the pope has no possessions.


A lot of wisdom here in my mind.

Did Jesus want him to physically follow him around, or become a spiritual follower? Is that “twisting the words?” Would the Saints mentioned above have done more good selling immediately and becoming pauper the rest of their days, or as stated above, “using the treasure wisely?” What about the master, the three servants, and the talents?


The pope has no possessions is true. All the furniture and what looks like valuable antiques are not his personal possessions, they have been in the Vatican for centuries and they have been shared by popes.

There is a misunderstanding about the so called wealth of the Vatican. It is mostly art and manuscripts and it is a museum. Tourism contributes to the maintenance of the valuables and many people benefit from viewing and learning history.

The actual papal apartment is just a couple rooms, very simple. Pope Francis lives in the hotel.


I wouldn’t pray to be “Bill Gates rich” but I wouldn’t mind having enough to be a better Catholic and a better citizen. I can see God preferring that I “have money” and do the right things with my money and time than being a poor person on the street depending on others.

Exactly. Think of all the wealthy people (or wealthy people’s children) getting involved with drugs.

I really think so, in some cases.

I know two or three who have inherited wealth who are good people and do the right things with it, almost as if God chose them to have wealth.


I don’t think it works that way. In the end we get what we deserve.


Another thing to keep in mind, being ‘poor’ in many US cities is FAR FAR easier than ‘poor people’ in Mexico, Africa, and other places, I recently read a blog about this, the guy did alot of research, he found 98% of homes of the poor had refrigerators, stoves to cook food, microwave ovens, etc. 95% had interior heating and cooling, 90% had tvs, cable tv, internet, etc…so being ‘poor’ in the US is not really poor as many other people would see it, they would consider these people to be rich…problem is I guess, we dont know how God views this.


Of course it is OK to be rich in worldly riches.

Everyone should strive to be the best they can be to support their best interests. Children should be taught to work hard and succeed because it is better to be rich than poor.

After all, only the person who is rich in worldly riches can help those without worldly riches.


Living in the Third World, I agree. However, I must then say your first post is a major slap in the face not just to me but to people I’ve encountered who are jobless and have no working skills outside of begging.

Quoting the Wolf of Wall Street, “There’s no nobility in poverty.”

I repeat: religion or no religion, I wholly reject the poor man’s life. There is nothing humane about such squalid conditions. If this Church is truly about human dignity and upholding man as a creation made in God’s image and likeness then it ought to be for smart, proper (and obviously ethical) accumulation/creation of wealth. It should be for the reasonable betterment of living standards. It should NOT be for dragging those better off down to the miserable level of those who refuse to help themselves.

Why some people get away with citing St. Francis and Mother Theresa to justify perpetual financial misery is beyond me! :eek:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit