Is it wrong to be rich, and to buy expensive things?
Suggested Daily Reading: Matthew 6:24-34.
Money is not evil. Being rich is not wrong. Many of the saints in the Bible were wealthy. Think of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, Solomon and many more. Owning expensive things is not wrong in and of itself. Think of the gold bracelets and jewelry that Abraham’s servant gave to Rebekah or the size of the gift Jacob gave to Esau.
The love of money, however, is wrong. Living for wealth and placing riches as the main goal of my life is sin. Trusting in my money and possessions and believing that these will give me happiness and satisfaction, instead of God, is sinful idolatry. “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them” (Ps. 62:10).
Our culture worships money and possessions. Advertising tries to convince us that we will be happy if we could own a certain toy, bike, car, home or retirement savings, and not be happy if we don’t. It is not wrong to have these things, but to covet them and make them our main goal is wrong. Many people are deceived by riches. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (I Tim. 6:9).
Stinginess, miserliness and hoarding of money is contrary to God’s will. “God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Cor. 9:7). We must always remember that when we possess health, ability, success and money, that all are gracious gifts of God (Deut. 8:18, 1 Chr. 29:12, Eccl. 5:19, Hos. 2:8). Therefore, we are not to be proud of our wealth, possessions or honours, but to be humble, as all we have, we received as gifts from God. Out of a humble and thankful spirit, therefore, we are to cheerfully give of our increase to God and others.
The Lord Jesus also teaches us not to worry or be anxious about money and material possessions, but to trust our heavenly Father for these things. How does the suggested daily reading help us to set our priorities correctly?
What is meant by the statement “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches” (Pr. 13:7)? Read Jesus’ conclusion to His sermon on the mount (Matt. 7:24-27). If we place our expectation on money and earthly possessions, how are we, like the foolish builder, building our house upon the sand?”