Friday, December 25, 2015

What Does God Think Of Rich People?

What does God think of rich people? You and I know what many people say about rich people. You've probably heard phrases like "filthy rich," "stinking rich," or "greedy rich people," attributed to those who are wealthy. For some, it seems that there is an underlying belief that being rich is wrong, and yet, most people wouldn't mind it at all if an extra zero or two, or three, were added to the end of their bank account balance. Some people assume that those who are rich got their wealth dishonestly, or never had to work for it. Some see the rich as snobs who look down upon the rest of the world. It is rare to find someone who is actually glad that someone else has tremendous wealth! Many people think that rich people don't deserve to be rich, in other words, it's wrong to be rich. It's just not fair for people to have all that money! There are some religious people who actually think that being rich is not right in the sight of God. But what does the Bible say? Often misquoted, the Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil; rather, it says that the love of money is the root of all evil. That means that you could have a dollar and love it, or, you could have a million dollars and not love a dime of it. When you take a minute to stop and think, there are a number of great people mentioned in the Bible who were very rich. Job was the greatest man in the East. He lost everything and God restored double back to him! If he had so much wealth, and then lost everything, isn't it interesting that God gave him back double of what he lost. God did that for Job. In the Bible, Abraham is called the friend of God and the father of all them that believe. Abraham was very rich in cattle, silver and gold. How about David or Solomon? The list goes on and on. When Jesus died, it was Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, who took care of the burial. He had a wonderful heart for God. He had the means to do what he did. It may seem quite easy to argue that those mentioned above were special people with special reasons for having riches, or that they were a rare exception. There are some who believe that those who are wealthy are just "meant to be" wealthy. But If that is true, why are there so many promises of prosperity in the Bible? Nothing in the Scriptures even remotely hints that God chooses who is going to be wealthy and who is going to be poor, and the rest are just supposed to exist somewhere in the middle. If that were really true, then so many promises of help, blessings and prosperity wouldn't be so prevalent. A number of years ago, "The Prayer of Jabez" was very popular. All the items that were associated with it were basically derived from one verse in the Bible: I Chronicles 4:10. If you read that verse, you'll find that Jabez simply asked God to bless him, to enlarge his coast, to be with him, and to keep him from evil. God granted Jabez what he requested! God didn't say what most people would have said: "Hey there, Jabez, you're getting greedy. Why don't you just be satisfied with what you have?" No. God gave him what he requested. Over the past ten years or so, a number of preachers have been labeled "prosperity preachers." Some of those have preached an honest message of God's abundance, while others have polluted the message with something short of a circus act. Biblically, prosperity simply means that you are successful at what you are endeavoring to do. Only you can define prosperity for yourself. It may involve a lot of money and it may not. But God plainly states in the Bible that He wishes above all things that we prosper and be in health. Wealth can be obtained honestly or dishonesty - ethically or unethically. But far too many people too quickly judge those who are wealthy and successful. I personally know a number of Christians who are millionaires, and they are very loving and giving people. I think it is a shame that a lot of wonderful, successful Christians, are being unfairly judged and condemned by their brothers and sisters in Christ, because of the blessings they have received from God. They work hard, apply effective principles, expect God's blessings, and receive from Him abundantly. So, what does God think of rich people? Is God displeased with the wealthy? Does He want everyone to be poor? No. God desires, above all things, for all His children to prosper and to be in health. Prosperity is a blessing from God that is available to all.

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