Being rich is not a sin. It is how we use our money that matters and we are not meant to ruthlessly pursue it. When daydreaming about money the mind can conjure up many scenarios — like a huge house with many rooms and maybe even a bowling alley in the basement and a heated pool in the backyard and a garage housing a fleet of exotic cars. Or some dream of luxurious trips around the world.
Turn on popular ministries on television that are telling us to send our best donations or to “sow” a financial seed to reap a financial harvest! These are promises only the Almighty can keep. These are the sharks the Lord warned us about.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” These are the words regarding riches that Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6.
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Paul wrote these words to the young Timothy in the first epistle to Timothy, chapter 6.
It seems Jesus and Paul had some negative things to say about the selfish pursuit of riches, at least, the earthly, material riches.
Does this mean that being well off or trying to do well for your family is sinful? Certainly not! God blesses anyone He desires to bless. The sin comes when this is your pursuit and nothing else matters. God is not an investment firm or a bank where you can make a return or an exorbitant amount of money. Giving was never meant to be a moneymaking scheme. Giving is meant to be a means to help others just as, in Christ, God gave to us and helped us.
God can make us spiritually rich in our opportunities to minister to others and to help them. Money is a good thing when we can use it to further the gospel, but it should not be acquired to hoard and use for selfish over the top godless pursuits. After all, Jesus will call us to an account one day of what we have done with the means we have been given. Shall we tell Him that He did not bless us and give us enough miracles to satisfy our appetite and this is why we did not do enough? Or shall He say to us, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.”
What kind of “rich” would you really rather be? The kind that will be destroyed and lost one day or the kind that will last for all eternity and is greater than we can ever begin to imagine?
“Therefore take no thought, saying, “What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” (James 5:1-3).