Is It Wrong For a Christian To Want To Be Rich?
In my work as a discipler of men, I've met hundreds of deeply committed, fully surrendered, wealthy Christian men. These men love God with their whole hearts, every ounce of their energy, and the sum of their strength. They are "all in" with Jesus.
Money is important. On the 10th of the month your mortgage company is looking for Jesus – they want cash! And the Bible teaches we each need to take personal responsibility for our finances four ways: Earning, saving, tithing, and avoiding debt. "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has" (Proverbs 21:20).
So is it wrong for a Christian to want to be rich? Wanting to be rich is a bad bet. The Bible also says, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" (1Timothy 6:9).
For example, a rich young man asked Jesus, "What good deed must I do do inherit eternal life?"
Jesus loved him, but He knew that the man loved his wealth--his money was the obstacle keeping him from following the Lord with his whole heart. So Jesus said to him, “'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'
"When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, 'Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God'” (Matthew 19:20-24).
Giving away his wealth was not a good deed that would gain the young man eternal life. Rather, it would remove the obstacle keeping him from a full, total, complete surrender to Jesus. Here's something to keep in mind: All the benefits of wealth are temporal, while all the risks of wealth are eternal.
Money is not all it's cracked up to be, anyway. Anyone who is ever had money will plainly confess, "Money has not made me happy." Of course, we need money, but once you get above a certain level, money tends to create more problems than it solves.
Perhaps the poor have one advantage over the rich. At least they can still cling to the illusion that money will make them happy.
Until every church disciples every man...