But when we turn to the Bible we see that the subject of wealth is there. God has things to teach us about wealth – about how we go about earning money, how to use it, our attitude to it, generosity, etc. So it’s not a subject that we should never expect to hear about at church. Secondly, wealth itself, and being wealthy are not condemned. Wealth is not bad and to be avoided. Christians through the centuries have tried to portray poverty as being better than wealth – as if material poverty is what the Christian should aim for. I don’t think that is the Bible’s message on wealth either.
What the Bible does do is to teach us that loving money and wealth, and putting them in the place of God will be our downfall. When wealth becomes the thing that I trust in for security now and for the future, then it has become my god – my master. Jesus warns us that we can’t serve two masters. If we trust in our wealth, we will serve our wealth (working to gain more and keeping as much as we can as our highest priority), rather than trusting God for our security and serving Him. Proverbs 11:4 says that our wealth is worthless on the day we stand before God. What will matter on that day is how we have sought to honour and serve him – including with our wealth, as much or as little as that might be.
Whether we treat wealth as our god, or rightly as a good provision of the true God, will affect the way we accumulate, invest and give our wealth away. And so we come back to the overriding theme of the wise life that we’re discovering in Proverbs. That life begins and continues with the fear of the Lord. Our lives are in his hands – not in the hands of wealth.
In Christ’s love,