Christianity and Wealth

Many Christians today are uncertain about God's position on wealth, and therefore uncertain about what their attitude toward money should be. Some preach "abundant living"—that wealth is proof of a Christian's faith and a sign of God's approval. Others condemn wealth and frown on Christians who amass personal fortunes. People of both persuasions back up their stances with scripture. In actuality, the Bible is more balanced.

• God does not condone dishonest acquisition of wealth.

How can I tolerate your merchants who use dishonest scales and weights?—Micah 6:11 NLT

• But He does not condemn wealth per se.

It is a good thing to receive wealth from God.—Ecclesiastes 5:19 NLT

• The Bible contains several accounts of people whom God specifically blessed with wealth, such as Isaac and Job.

Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.—Genesis 26:12-13

[After a time of severe testing] the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.—Job 42:10

• God has promised to provide for those who love and try to please Him.

No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.—Psalm 84:11

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:19

• He especially blesses those who help others in need.

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.—Proverbs 19:17

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."—Acts 20:35

• When money and possessions take preeminence in our hearts and lives, we displease God and bring trouble upon ourselves.

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.—1 Timothy 6:10

• Money will never bring lasting happiness or fulfillment.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.—Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV

So the bottom line seems to be that much depends on our attitude. God wants to bless us financially, but He also expects us to use His blessings in a godly way. It's through our relationship with Him that we will find our greatest fulfillment and success in life—the truest riches.

Samuel Keating is Production Manager of Activated, and lives in Milan, Italy.