Should Christians Pursue Wealth?



In this age of get rich quick schemes and prosperity doctrines, some Christians wonder if they should pursue wealth and whether God approves. Some church leaders tell you that you are poor because you haven't given enough and if you just give to their ministry, God will open up the heavens and rain down blessings, "pressed down shaken together and overflowing,” as if giving is an investment for the purpose of getting a return. You hear “money is the root of all evil” and “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.” So you struggle to provide for your family without getting fatter than a camel. You even pray for “just enough” because having more is somehow wrong.

Society has forgotten the value of time and hard work and those who choose to be slothful expect the rich to take up their slack. You see this and it bothers you and yet you feel less charitable for taking care of your own while they do without. Feeling judged by the church and the world doesn't leave one with desire to aspire. Perhaps the real question a Christian should be asking when considering increasing their bottom line is ‘who is my judge? the church? the world? or Christ, the discerner of hearts?’

Consider the intent of your heart and purpose for pursuing wealth. Scripture is clear. We are responsible to provide for our own and give to the body of Christ. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves but how to accomplish that is left up to us.  We are supposed to be salt and light in the world, to preserve the faith and influence change. As Christians, we have more excellent riches than corruptible gold and silver but many around us do not. Many live in defeat spiritually and physically. Meeting their needs is a good place to start if we want to be that light.

“And the King shall answer, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done this to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me.” Mat 25:40

We are an extension of the King to the world but we can’t give what we do not possess. So if you need a good reason to pursue wealth, being able to effect change by meeting the needs of others is a good one. How powerful a Christian in this world might you be if you were wealthy? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to shower others with blessings, to meet their physical needs and open doors to share the gospel? Jesus did it. He met a physical need first whether it was feeding the multitudes, healing the sick or causing the blind to see.

1 Timothy 6 puts riches into perspective as the apostle instructs us to be content with food and raiment and not love our money; it is “the love of money” that is the root of all evil. Don't fall in love with your money. Use it to meet the needs of your family and others. When you need more money for your family or ministry, you pursue it. Maybe you sell something or work more hours. You likely are not opposed to starting your own business, if possible, and neither the church nor the world would think ill of you; scripture certainly doesn’t forbid it. So why not do whatever you do for money in such a way as to be successful?  

“Whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

If you are going to bring the fruit of your labor to the Lord for an offering, why not bring him the best? If wealth can provide a more excellent offering, is that wrong?