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Wealth: Danger—Use Extreme Caution!

As a Christian, our chief purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. If that is the most important goal in our lives, wouldn’t we want to remove every obstacle that gets in the way? The Bible has a lot to say about the hazards of materialism and wealth. In fact, one of the main themes is this: wealth is almost always a spiritual liability!

Practical Help

Wealth does not have to hurt our relationship with Christ if we would heed the following cautions:

Materialism increases pride. “By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud” (Ez 28:4-5). Hosea states the caution this way: “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me” (Hosea 13:6).

Wealth often results in anxiety. John D. Rockefeller said: “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” Solomon said: “The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep” (Eccl 5:12 ).

Materialism creates self-sufficiency. Some people seem to cruise through life without a financial worry. They worked for it—they deserve it—it’s theirs. They are “financially independent”. They have everything they need; who needs God? The Bible corrects this kind of thinking. Paul says “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant (1Tim 6:17 ). Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us that it is God who has given us the capacity to create wealth. Having an attitude of self-sufficiency is deadly to maintaining a relationship with Christ.

Chasing wealth distracts us. Consider the different ways people respond to the Gospel in the Parable of the Sower: “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matt 13:22).

Finally, the quest for riches ultimately ends in futility. King Solomon is the all-time champion on Forbe’s List of 100 Wealthiest People. Here is his summary on a life of riches: “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Eccl 2:11 ). Use money for taking care of your family and building the Kingdom—everything else is ultimately meaningless.

The views are those of Bruce Olmstead and not those of Summit Brokerage Services. Investments in securities do not offer a fix rate of return. Principal, yield and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested.  No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results