There is a debate I continue to see in Christian groups about money. Some preach the prosperity gospel which is very dangerous while others counter that by making it seem sinful to be rich or have money.
They’re verses that can be found that will strengthen each person’s argument when it comes to money so how do we know what to trust?
The answer is ALL of them. Trust all scripture and know the word, understand context and you will be on guard against those who take the Bible out of context and if you know scripture you will be able to stop yourself from taken the word of God out of context.
Jesus told this story in Luke 21:1-4 (ESV), “21 Jesus[a] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.[b] 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Jesus did not condemn the rich man for being rich and not giving everything he had instead the story was about the woman giving and being generous despite being poor.
Jesus also did not say the woman would be blessed with earthly possessions for giving like the prosperity gospel preaches.
Others reference this story from Mark 10:17-31 (ESV),
The Rich Young Man
“17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Many have used this story to show that rich people will not get into Heaven and that having money is a sin.
But Jesus in this story was testing the young man and it set up his next lesson. He told them that with God all things are possible and that shows that yes even the Rich man can get into Heaven. Once again the message is clear do not value money over God but God does not condemn the rich for being rich.
So what is a good example that fits the theme of money?
It is non-other than King Solomon. He asked for wisdom from God over monetary blessings.
Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom
“3 Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.
3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.”
You see Solomon asked for wisdom and because he valued that over wealth and power God chose to give him those things in addition.
Remember that is not a guarantee it is God’s will and any money should be considered a blessing.
We can also use what happened to King Solomon as a lesson since he fell into temptation and misused his wealth and power.
We must be on guard as sin is the issue not the material things. An object is never the sin it is what we do with the object.
Money like many physical things are still dangerous Paul sums up that danger in, 1 Timothy 6:10, “10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
So love God over any money you have.
Let God guide you on what to do with it and treat any money like a blessing.
Have a Blessed Week,