There are a lot of misconceptions about the biblical take on wealth. On one end of the spectrum you have people saying that money is the root of all evil. This is a common misquote of the Bible. The proper quote is “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.” (1 Tim 6:10) On the other end of the spectrum are people believing that the lack of wealth is some sort of sign of a lack of favor from the Lord. These people may turn to such scriptures as “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:28).
The truth is there are plenty of examples of God fearing people who find favor from the Lord at all levels of the economic spectrum. So the possession of or lack of wealth is not what is at stake. What is at stake is priorities. Having too much or too little wealth is not the issue, prioritizing your life around that money is.
The real issue is contentment. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5) Be content. That is a tall order. You see, I’ve been at both ends of this formula. Well I’ve never been filthy rich but I’ve had times of plenty and times of want. What I found during both of these seasons in life is that it is very easy to get trapped into the love of money.
In times of plenty, the dreams build up of what you could do. The spending picks up in ways you never could before. The feeling is that it will always be like this and there will always be enough. It’s also easy to fall into the workaholic trap that says this still is not enough, I must earn more.
Then in times of want, there never seems to be enough to pay bills, much less do anything extra. At this time it’s not falling in love with money, but having stronger desires for money than for things that matter more. The stress from lack of money can distract us from spending time with family or loved ones… or with God even.
In both cases, rich or poor, plenty or want… money can become a stronger force in your life than it should be. However the truth is that Jesus will never “leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5b) This does not mean you will not have trials. By all means, this is a fallen world with a strong spiritual battle… you will have trials. In fact, as you follow Christ and Satan looses his grip on you, you may even experience more trials and persecution.
It is true that Christ will never forsake us, but He also ‘never promised you a rose garden’ either. Our salvation is permanent, He will never leave us in that way. Also the trials we face in this life, we can defeat (with His help). “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. (Phil 4:13)