By Elizabeth Prata
Not that I would know, lol. But the question has been raised.
Having money is not a sin. Abraham, Job, Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph son of Isaac and Moses were either wealthy themselves or lived in wealthy circumstances. Alternately, not having money is not a sin, either, as we see from Mary and Joseph, and Jesus Himself.
But the Bible does warn us that there will be false teachers who do not teach for the love of Jesus but for the love of money. (2 Peter 2:3). 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all evil. The issue isn’t having or not having money. It’s what you do with it. Abraham shared his wealth generously with his nephew Lot, he tithed generously to the King, he supported his family, he helped others with his provision. Abraham knew his prosperity came from God and wasn’t his to begin with.
Greedy prosperity teachers hoard it, collect worldly goods by twisting the Word and living off others’ backs by using God for their own gain. The first recorded words of Judas was about money, and the very next verse reveals his motivations: he was a greedy thief who helped himself to the purse. Properly acknowledging from whom all blessings (and material wealth) flows is paramount, as king Nebuchadnezzar found out in Daniel 4:30.
The Bible also tells us that in addition to believing right doctrine, teachers are held to a higher standard and must live a righteous lifestyle. I’ve noticed as some wealthy false teachers’ wealth has increased over the decades, their charitable giving has decreased. That’s always the proportion for the worldly. But the Bible says Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21).
Having material wealth does give rise to a danger of self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency. It IS hard for wealthy people to gain the kingdom, (Matthew 19:24), but having wealth isn’t any more a sin than being poor is a sin. It’s how you live that counts. How you obey God. How you use what He has given you, no matter how much or how little.
Where is your primary orientation, all your thoughts, your goals? If your thoughts are toward getting and maintaining your possessions, then you have nothing.
If they are pointed toward Jesus, then no matter how much money or possessions you have, you have everything.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24).