Is it okay to be rich?


#1

We all know that the love of money is the root of all evil, but is it okay to be rich as long as one doesn’t have an unhealthy attachment to material things? I’m trying to understand why the “rich” are spoken of so poorly in the Bible in addition to the condemnation of the love of money. I welcome your thoughts.


#2

[quote=sabrinaofmn]We all know that the love of money is the root of all evil, but is it okay to be rich as long as one doesn’t have an unhealthy attachment to material things? I’m trying to understand why the “rich” are spoken of so poorly in the Bible in addition to the condemnation of the love of money. I welcome your thoughts.
[/quote]

Yes, it is okay to be rich. God blesses some people with great wealth. Joseph of Arimathea, a friend of Jesus, was rich. Job became a wealthy man. Kings David and Solomon became wealthy men. Contrary to popular piety, Jesus did not exclude the rich from the Kingdom of God. He did say that it was difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.


#3

[quote=4 marks]Yes, it is okay to be rich. God blesses some people with great wealth. Joseph of Arimathea, a friend of Jesus, was rich. Job became a wealthy man. Kings David and Solomon became wealthy men. Contrary to popular piety, Jesus did not exclude the rich from the Kingdom of God. He did say that it was difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
[/quote]

I know lots of rich people who are also the most genuine, sincere, humble, and charitable people I know. I try to spend as much time around them as I can so I can duplicate.


#4

I am blessed to have an extraordinarily weathy sister. I find her humility, her generosity, and her faith very refreshing. She does not make money her god. She has worked hard and been duly rewarded, but she remains above all, a servant of God.

I also see HOW my sister’s money creates jealousy in those around her. This is not of my sister’s doing, boasting or bragging. If you saw her, you would never know of her wealth. It is only a problem for others.

Jealousy is an equally ugly creature.


#5

$$$$$$$ When I get there I will let you know $$$$$$$

It is possessing enough of the virtues to keep a healthy detachment from persons or things that create an inordinate attachment. I believe that money is highlighted because it is a ready commodity to access what this world has to offer, and directly competes for the loyalty of our desires and affections.


#6

I have found that in most cases, the more money a person has, the less they are attached to it, and the less it influences their decisions.


#7

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]I have found that in most cases, the more money a person has, the less they are attached to it, and the less it influences their decisions.
[/quote]

I have often seen the opposite. I happen to have been in several jobs where I often spend a bit of time in social situations with rather wealthy individuals. They typically have a very different mind set. They may not worry about money but that should not be confused with a lack of attachment. I have met people with whom when they meet someone that may have money or special knowledge will immediatly ask about ways to keep their money (taxes etc.) or ways to make more. I also have noticed that it is these same people that when the conversation is not money, their conversations indicate a searching for something (meaning, excitement, etc). I have met and have family that is very wealthy who very much seem to have priorities much higher than wealth. They are very generous and making money clearly does not consume their thoughts. They also seem to often have a strong christian faith.
Personally, I think that in our society it is the middle class that has the most difficult time with money. They are the typical targets of marketing. They see so many images of people with more means then they have. They have worries about money because they don’t have God as their assured provider or a hope of treasure stored in heaven. Is it possible in relative terms that rich man who finds it so difficult to enter the kingdom includes our middle class?


#8

You can get to heaven if you are rich. You must give some money to the poor. The best place to spend money today is on clean drinking water for the poor.

For Jesus said. Whoever drinks the water I gave them. SHall have enternal life and they will never grow thirsty.


#9

I’ve thought about this question myself as my state has a lottery that often gets high. I’ve thought about the fact that Jesus came to Earth as a member of a poor family and that He told his disciples to go out to the world with no food or money.

Mother Theresa of Calcutta (who lived a wonderfully Christian life) and her order, I have read, own two things–the clothes on their backs and a change of clothes.

I think the question is what is the goodness contained in being rich? What lessons does it teach? How does being rich follow Christ? Does it take away from God as the center of your life? Does it impede your journey towards Heaven and stain your soul?


#10

is it OK to be rich? Well can a camel go through a needle’s eye?

I don’t doubt there are rich people who are humble and unattached to their wealth. Yet I wonder how unattached one is when he or she spends a million dollars on a house, when a modest home would suffice, and that excess money could’ve been spent on food for the poor, vaccinations for third world inhabitants, aid for mothers tempted to abortion, and so many other things.


#11

wealth and poverty are not so much about how much or how little you have, but what is your attitude toward what you have, and what you would like to have. Do you recognize every thing you have or desire to have as gifts from God freely given, for his own purposes or do you consider you have a right to possess things and money? Are you poor in spirit, or avaricious and grasping in spirit.


#12

[quote=puzzleannie]wealth and poverty are not so much about how much or how little you have, but what is your attitude toward what you have, and what you would like to have. Do you recognize every thing you have or desire to have as gifts from God freely given, for his own purposes or do you consider you have a right to possess things and money? Are you poor in spirit, or avaricious and grasping in spirit.
[/quote]

Excellent point.


#13

[quote=Minerva]is it OK to be rich? Well can a camel go through a needle’s eye?
[/quote]

Please don’t use this analogy if you don’t understand what it means. I has nothing to do with hairy stinky animals squeezing through a sewing implement.


#14

This was puzzling to me for a long time, as I thought it was a blanket condemnation of wealth, kind of socialistic. But recently I’ve had a new insight, when reflecting on how pagan and amoral so many celebrities and politicians are, how some even actively work toward the general breakdown of social restraints or pervert religion for their own ends.

I think “wealthy” also includes the famous and successful. When you have a measure of worldly success I think there is a tendency to believe you did it all on your own, and that you don’t need any help or grace, and to grow distant from God and get kind of arrogant. You get busy with your latest acquisitions, love affairs, travel, even publicly charitable works, but lose the humility. We saw this even with worldly priests like Father Coughlin. At least until the end. It takes a pretty strong spirit to not let that happen when the world is at your feet.


#15

I’d like a chance to prove that it is! :smiley:


#16

I had a freind ask me if I thought he should buy a sporty BMW for his wife. He said, “She has worked really hard and she deserves it.” I asked him, “Are you caught up on your tithe?” “No” he replied. “Give to God what is God’s then we will think about how you will spend what is yours”, was my response.

I spent a couple months working at a Catholic worker house (homeless shelter). There were many regulars there. They had three square meals a day and slept in the church basement at night. It had been this way for years. One day a store donated a huge box of cookies. I walked into the kitchen to find four regulars sitting at the table. They each had a stack of about 35 cookies sitting in front of each one’s plate. The cookie box was empty.

My point is, You do not have to be rich to be greedy. Materialism and selfishness strike at all levels of wealth.

A person can have a car, home, computor and internet access and still not be materialistic while some with far less wealth can be materialistic and greedy. A peson must give to God what is God’s and be reasonable with their wealth no matter what the level.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#17

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