On being wealthy?


#1

So, I have been thinking and reading a lot and it seems to me that we should live minimalist lives as in not own a lot of material things and almost only have those that are necessary. I am not saying it’s a sin to own material things or to be wealthy, I know it’s not, but is it better to not be wealthy or own a lot of stuff? Because even the Bible says not to gather things here on this earth etc… But then I also see that God blessed kings in the Bible like Solomon with a lot of wealth. Then, I see the saints and many were wealthy and they left their wealth to follow God more closely, I have only heard of like 2 saints that remained wealthy and did not give it up at all.
I guess what kind of bothers me is that I feel like if we have a lot of things here on earth, we won’t get as much graces as those who lived like Jesus and owned very little if nothing at all. What do you guys think? And sorry if this is in the wrong category, I did not know where else to put it :slight_smile:


#2

Just two points:

you said:

I also see that God blessed kings in the Bible like Solomon with a lot of wealth.

Go back and carefully read why Solomon was blessed with wealth…it wasn’t wealth he desired, but God rewarded him because want he wanted was a selfless request.

And, you said:

what kind of bothers me is that I feel like if we have a lot of things here on earth, we won’t get as much graces as those who lived like Jesus and owned very little if nothing at all.

“Having” is only a vice if we are not good stewards of what we are blessed with. “Having”, because of our fallen human nature, only makes such stewardship difficult…often very difficult, which prompted Christ’s words to the rich young man. However, if we act as good stewards, wealth can be a spiritual asset rather than a liability.

Peace and all Good!


#3

I agree; the less acquiring, organizing, cleaning, maintaining and coveting of material possessions we do, the more we can focus on what’s important. Less is more.

We cannot serve two masters.


#4

Christ said it’s hard for the rich man to get into heaven. Right?


#5

I accrue wealth for two reasons. One, I prefer it to being poor. Two. I need to look after my family and leave them enough so that they are not wanting when I am gone. I consider the second reason my duty as a husband and father. If I have much more than I need it is my responsibility to care for the poor, the sick and the dispossessed. I need not live like a pauper to carry out my Christian responsibilities. Some such as St. Francis was called to extreme poverty. He gained, not by being poor, but by fulfilling the will of God in his life.
I have felt no such call.
I will die better off than two thirds of the world’s population. This is because I was born into a prosperous country. There is no sin in this personally. However, it is fitting and just to push our governments to do what they can in redistributing the world’s resources to all across the world. That this does not happen is not a personal failure on my part.
I am responsible only for what I can control. Thus my first responsibility is to my family. Then to the poor so beloved of our Christ. What we do for them, we do for our Lord. What we don’t do for them from our excess after caring for our family we will be found wanting in the judgment of God.
I believe that living above the norms of the middle class of our own society is morally wrong as to have the mansion or the very expensive car whilst people are suffering is repugnant to any honourable man.
These are the principles I work with in deciding my responsibilities as a Catholic.


#6

I don’t think having the wealth is the problem. It’s being attached to it. A person can be poor and still be miserly, or can be rich and charitable, or anything in between.

Money is a neutral tool; it isn’t evil in itself. The love of money is a root of all evil. :wink:

For most people, being rich would result in many more temptations than their current status does, and would require a lot more self-denial and self-discipline. If a person is wealthy, it can be tempting to place more faith in that wealth than in God for security and meeting our needs.

Most of all, we need to be willing to give everything up to follow Christ, if that is what He asks of us. How many of us could honestly do that, even if we’re not what most people would consider “rich?” Think about it.

Now, imagine how much harder that would be with more to give up: more money, more status, more financial security, more stuff?


#7

:thumbsup:

Excellent post. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Let’s not forget that one of Christ’s earliest disciples, Joseph of Arimathea, was a “rich man.”

It’s also worth looking at the parable of the Rich Man (Dives) and Lazarus. The Rich Man enjoyed a luxurious life while not caring one whit for the poor man who ate the scraps from his table. That was what damned him, not being rich.

Another important parable here is of the foolish rich man, who had an abundance of goods and felt that this would be sufficient to ensure his happiness. However, as God reminds him, he cannot take worldly goods with him when he dies. Unless he is rich in spiritual things, in the love of God and neighbour (which includes voluntarily sharing his wealth with those who genuinely need it), he will lose his soul.


#8

I truly believe that if we have more than enough, we should give to the point where we prioritise the giving over keeping more for ourselves. If the giving is the first thing we cut when we’re feeling the pinch, we’re not really making much of a sacrifice.

I’m trying to do this at the moment. I reckon I give at least 10% of my income to charity, but I’m feeling I need to draw my spending back because we’re dipping into our savings most months. I’m not intending to cut the 10%. There are other things I can do without.


#9

It’s not how much you have it’s what you do with it. If I was wealthy enough that I didn’t have to worry about money I would spend all day everyday farming, raising crops and animals, to feed the poor. Man that would be awesome, I could listen to Catholic Answers live all day long while I was working to feed Jesus’ sheep. :thumbsup:


#10

LOVE of money …

Parable of the talents … choose your own translation.

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV


#11

I would venture to bet our definition of ‘rich and poor’ in the modern day US is more than likely much different than Gods definition. Usually people try to get around this by saying things like “well thats just what the world is like today, its normal to have this, this and this”.

Even the very poor, they still have ovens to cook food, usually have heat/ ac, fridges to keep food cold, clothing to wear, etc.

I have a feeling most folks in the US have had their opinions of what constitutes being rich or poor, distorted over the years (including myself), We have come to think its ‘normal’ to make X amount each year, to spend X amount on a car, housing, clothes, cellphones, etc.

Most of us spend a good bit of our time working just to maintain all these things, so we can make our payments, we may not have much left over at the end, but we are still living in relative luxury compared to some other places and times. Of course, we are raised in this kind of world, so we naturally come to accept this is whats normal and how we should do things.

I dont think its any coincidence in our times, we are literally bombarded with advertising and marketing to encourage us to spend more of our money, go into more debt, work more hours, just so we can HAVE all these things.


#12

I recommend reading
The Holy Use of Money
Personal Finances in Light of Christian Faith

By John C. Haughey, SJ


#13

It is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.

[not “money” … it is the “love” of money.]

Important distinction.


#14

We all must have a spirit of poverty in which we are detached from earthly possessions. This doesn’t mean that we must be poor, a rich man can have a spirit of poverty. It is more difficult for the wealthy to go to Heaven because of the temptations they get from loving their wealth. As Our Lord said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. … With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.” (St. Matthew xix. 24, 26). Your wealth can actually be used to make you holy and serve God, it just depends on how you use it.


#15

The very sad thing is that within just 20 years I would say the majority of people are completely attached and addicted to their cell phones. It’s truly sad and this is only getting worse.


#16

I agree. Many are calling for people to drop the phone and “watch the real world”.


#17

None of this is coincidence either, everything that is happening in our world right now, I believe has been planned out and ‘engineered’ to be a certain way, all for one agenda, move people as far from God and the truth as possible.

It is no coincidence our eyes and heads are bombarded with all kinds of cool expensive stuff, kids grow up learning from their parents, and they go down the same road, eventually being up to their eyeballs in debt, and having no choice but to work 60+ hours a week to maintain all these things and their lifestyle.

I have a feeling majority of people are going to be totally shocked by the complexity and how ‘methodical’ the enemy and his ‘minions’ in our world have succeeded in creating the type of world we see today. There will probably be alot of people saying things like “WOW, how could I have not see these things for what they really are?”


#18

Being wealthy is dangerous for the soul

I have a safe soul

So if you have extra money send it to me so we can keep your soul safe :slight_smile:

(I am joking of course)


#19

:smiley: Haha


#20

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