Is it wrong to want to be succesful?

Hi guys, I was just wondering about the above question, which is something Ive been thinking about lots recently.

I graduate from university soon and am getting married next year. I dream of getting a good job with a good salary, being able to own a nice, big house and car, I want to travel and see many parts of the world and- my number one dream- own a holiday home abroad.

Yet at the same time I feel really guilty about this! I look at those suffering from poverty, disease and war all round the world and then compare it to the obscene wealth of some individuals and it makes me sick. I dont want to become a slave to money as that certainly wont help me get in to heaven!

How do I square my feelings of wanting to be a success in life with Jesus’s teachings of helping the poor? Is it a sin to want to be successful and own nice things?

God Bless.

It’s ok to have lots of money, as long as it is used properly. First off, look to live within your means. Look at what’s needed most. Like, a modest home and a modest car. Don’t go overboard here and get in on something that’s too much. In today’s economy it’s better to know your limits.

Budget in some to save and tithe. And help your “favorite” cause. Or, at least the one that God seems to be guiding you to. Like, any clothing you no longer want but is still good, give it to a local clothing bank. Yes, that’s clothing bank. Check with a local food bank to find one. Sometimes a place will have both. :thumbsup:

Good advice Christy Beth. I mean, I most certainly dont want to be filthy rich- I would just like a nice house for my family and I, nice holidays, clothes etc.

Maybe as long as a person doesnt let their desires for material wealth consume them then its ok? Im sure this is easier said than done though. Like you say, perhaps giving money and clothes to charity, maybe doing volunteer work and, obviously, living your Faith well are good ideas.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be sucessful or wanting nice things, but keep it in perspective – it’s only money, which buys comfort and not happiness.

“Is it wrong to want to be succesful?”

Not if you’re working for God. If not, maybe.:slight_smile:

I think we all have the desire to be “successful.” For each of us it will have it’s own definition. Now, in the spiritual life, that takes on another deminsion. Mother Theresa is quoted as saying, “God doesn’t ask us to be successful, only faithful.” As long as we are faithful in doing what God asks us to do, everything else will fall into place.

:thumbsup:

I am approaching retirement, and I have enough to live a very comfortable life. But too I have thought of Christ’s parable about the rich man who builds a bigger barn and then feels that now he can rest and enjoy himself. This is his retirement. Then Christ tells him he is a fool, because he will die tonight. I presume that he is a fool because he has fallen into the trap that many of us can end up in, feeling that since we are a success in material things, that we are a success all in all, and that the enjoyment and comfort we feel we have earned is what, in the end, is what is important in life. But I can only think that what makes us successful, in the end, is what lies inside our soul. Material things are for our own good if we use them to serve God and not ourselves.
Whether this mean a life serving the poor or doing other things has to do with what God actually wants him to do with his money and himself.

Congrats.

I dream of getting a good job with a good salary, being able to own a nice, big house and car, I want to travel and see many parts of the world and- my number one dream- own a holiday home abroad.

Dreams and goals are good. Sometimes you can realize them. They might take a different form than you first think. I saw the world by joining the military and learned a big house/property and car are expensive and a lot of work. My wifes was born around the world from here so when we visit/holiday I have a nice, free place to stay. I’m living your dream.

Yet at the same time I feel really guilty about this! I look at those suffering from poverty, disease and war all round the world and then compare it to the obscene wealth of some individuals and it makes me sick. I dont want to become a slave to money as that certainly wont help me get in to heaven!

When asked what salary I expect from an employer I usually reply I would like a fair wage comprable to those with similar jobs as mine with whom I will be working. I’m usually surprised they offer more than I expected, but maybe my expectations were low to begin with. I have always tried to make them reasonable without being excessive.

How do I square my feelings of wanting to be a success in life with Jesus’s teachings of helping the poor? Is it a sin to want to be successful and own nice things?

God Bless.

Keep in mind a drowning man cannot save another drowning man so keeping your own head above water is the first priority and it is not always easy. I wish you every success in being known as an honest and compassionate person to friends and strangers alike and if you are willing and actually share your fortunes and blessings with others then you would be successful imo even if you don’t have a big house and car. Unless you are fortunate it also doesn’t come in a year much less 10…if ever.

Your faith is your coin that has worth more than gold. Funny thing. If you concentrate on one you are likely to get the other though it isn’t the intent, but if you concentrate on the other you likely will lose both. Good luck.

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