For the Christian, money is the ultimate balancing act. To be rich is not ungodly. To be poor is not spiritual. But there is an ungodly way to be rich and there is a way to grow spiritually through poverty.
In a recent post I mentioned that I am a rich man when compared to those in the third world. What I did not mention (because I wanted you to struggle a little with that post) is that I don’t believe that it is a bad thing to be rich.
Through my wealth I am able to be a blessing to those around me. I employee two people. I provide critical transportation needs (like driving people to the hospital or providing transportation for church activities) because I own a vehicle. My home is open for Bible studies or meals. I don’t say this to brag, but to say that being wealthy in the presence of the poor is a blessing to both myself and the poor.
Being rich in the presence of the poor puts me in a unique position to help, to minister, and most importantly, witness to God’s goodness. Some may be called to give up everything while others are called to use their wealth to honor God.
Money and material things are not despised in the Bible. There are serious warnings about money, but there are also serious opportunities presented to those who have money. One who has decided to use those resources as a faithful steward can do many great and wonderful things in their life time.
How Have You Been Blessed By Wealthy Christians?
Here’s my list of ways I’ve been (am being) blessed by rich Christians.
- 100% of my salary comes from the freewill offering of fellow Christians.
- I’ve been offered to use a vacation home for my family – at no cost.
- My mortgage is 100% funded by Christian individuals (a long story for another time).
- People have taken my family out to eat on more occasions than I can count.
- While in college the generosity of others literally helped put food on our table.
- I’ve received numerous scholarships for private Christian education (funded by Christian individuals).
To be wealthy is not evil. To be wealthy means we have been entrusted with something from God.
When God gives us gifts I think he intends for those gifts to be a blessing. God wants wealth to bring us joy. When we see all we have it should remind us of how blessed we are. Appreciation and thanksgiving for each blessing is a much healthier response than guilt. For when we are guilty we cannot enjoy the gift God has given. While wealth can draw us away from God, through thanksgiving it can also enhance our relationship with God.
5 Things Every Rich Christians Should Do
This list includes the things I think are necessary of every rich Christian. If you have wealth, but one of these things is missing in your life, I’d encourage you to find away to incorporate it into your life.
Rich Christians must acknowledge God as the Source of wealth.
When I look around at all of the many things I own it increases my appreciation. I am thankful and humbled in the presence of God. Each day before my family eats we thank God for the meal. In our prayers, we acknowledge that all we have is a gift from God because ultimately God is the source of every blessing we enjoy.
Rich Christians should give God absolute ownership.
Though the bank account might have my name, I know the money is not my own. I am a steward put in a position to administer God’s funds. As a wealthy person I must seek God’s plan and purpose for my own money.
Rich Christians use their position and influence for the kingdom.
God’s kingdom can be glorified through doctors, lawyers, and engineers who seek to use not just their money, but also their skills and gifts for the sake of others. One rich man I know teaches business courses overseas and another does surgeries overseas. They use their position and influence for the good of God’s kingdom.
Rich Christians give generously from a genuine heart.
Barnabas graciously sold a field and laid the money at the feet of the apostles (Acts 4:36-37). The church in Philippi sent money to help Paul, the missionary (Phil. 4:14-18). Apphia and Archippus who opened their home for church meetings (Philemon 2).
Rich Christians always give priority to people over things.
The Godly rich will never earn money at the expense of others. They will never seek to get things at the expense of others. There may be a way to earn more money, but if it doesn’t honor people, it is not worth considering. As such, the godly rich do not discriminate against the poor (James 2:3-4).
I struggle with this one because living overseas I’ve come to realize that I get attached to my stuff. When someone loses something that belongs to me, I take it personally as though they have done something against me. Slowly, I’m learning the lesson that people are more important than things.
If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. (Exodus 22:26-27 NIV)
To be rich is not evil, but to be rich without sensing a deep responsibility can be a very dangerous thing.
What ways has your life been blessed by wealthy Christians? What other critical traits would you add to this list?