Does God Want You to be Rich?

Does God Want You to Be Rich?Does God want you to be rich? Before reading any further, post a comment to this article answering that question. I’ll wait . . . . Ok. I imagine the answers to this question will range from “Yes, He does” to “No, She doesn’t” to “God? There is no God.” Some will take this question very seriously, while others will view it as downright silly. Yet this question is asked (and answered) in churches throughout the U.S.

T.V. evangelists discuss this topic and authors publish books about it. In a Sunday School class at my church a couple of months ago, the teacher asked the class this question. His answer: Yes (it’s silly to think that God doesn’t want us to be rich, right?). And furthermore, the Sunday School teacher added that one will prosper by tithing to the church and then giving even more (the even more is called an offering).

Now, my church doesn’t teach this. This was the Sunday School teacher’s view. Fine. But here’s what really bothers me about this question–it’s so American. Only in the U.S. do we have the time and affluence to sit around asking such shallow questions.

Last Sunday, I wrote about mega-churches in the U.S., comparing one such church to a mega-church in Nigeria. And I wonder, does the congregation in this Nigerian church ask whether God wants them to be rich? Given the starvation and civil unrest in Nigeria, I’m guessing they’re more likely to ask, “Does God want us to survive, today?” And even if they did contemplate whether God wanted them to be rich, their idea of wealth would probably look far different than our idea of wealth here in America.

I recognize that some verses can be plucked from the Bible to support the prosperity doctrine, as it is called. But when it comes to money, isn’t the message of the Bible to avoid the trappings of wealth (note, the trappings, not wealth itself), and to be content with what we have?

Not a sermon, just a blog.

Topics: Personal Finance

35 Responses to “Does God Want You to be Rich?”

  1. Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

    The prosperity gospel is also growing in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and parts of South America. I would even guess that most churches in Nigeria teach tithing. The preachers are getting fat and prosperous while their members stay poor. It is a scam and a scandal. I’m glad your church does not push it.

  2. living2serve

    Ok, so I realize this is an old post…just came across the site via a link to this article at ChristianPF… I agree that this is a sadly shallow question…and probably one that is far too common here in the US. I think that a lot of Christians see wealthy non-Christians (or other Christians, for that matter) and think, “Well, if they’re so successful/wealthy/etc., then surely God has even greater things in store for me because I am his child/so faithful/etc.” While this is true, i.e. God does have even greater things in store for us, the “things” are not always what we think they should be. The true heart of the matter is that it is not WHAT God blesses us with, but HOW we manage and take care of what he has given us. It’s called Stewardship. I, like you, am tired of the “name it and claim it” gospel that teaches all you have to do is pray enough or be faithful enough, etc. and God will give you whatever you wish… My response is, “Who are you to ask God for more when you don’t even take care of what he has given you.” It makes me think of my 18 month old son…the other day it was dinner time and we’ve been letting him feed himself, even if he gets messy, so that he can learn how. Well, half way through his dinner, he starts throwing a fit. He had eaten all his peaches, but left most of the chicken on his plate. We’ve taught him a few sign language words, so he starts signing “more” and crying. MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE he cried. But he still had food on his plate (and he loves chicken). What I’m saying is that we as Americans sometimes are so focused on what we don’t have that we cry out to God, “MORE MORE MORE MORE”, and God is smiling and gently saying…”Look at your plate” (we didn’t give him more peaches by the way…and eventually he ate all his chicken and went to bed peacefully).

  3. Living2serve, thanks for your thoughtful comment. It is interesting to me that we define success and wealth in very American terms. That is, we only feel successful or wealthy if we have just a little bit more of both than our neighbor does. So I think you are right that often times we ask for MORE, only to fail to appreciate what we have. The point is not to get what you want, but to want what you have.

  4. God? There is no God.

    And anyway:

    “…I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    -Matthew 19:24

    • Mr. Twain, what is a rich man? Lower middle class Americans are unfathomably rich compared to many in the world. Are they rich? Solomon was wealthy. Did he make it through the eye of a needle? Matthew and Luke were both probably rich. Paul did ok for himself. Did they make it? I should add, these questions are not designed to challenge Matthew 19:24. They are aimed at challenge what we take from Matthew 19:24. I feel very rich, but I still work for a living and have far less than many that I know. Not a sermon, just a thought.

  5. Well, the bible teaches that you should not pursue riches (that is my interpretation of the quote I posted previously). Admittedly, the bible is often self-inconsistent. But, if you agree with that particular teaching, it appears that Christians would have a better chance of getting into heaven by selling their assets and distributing the money to the poor. Also on that premise, Christians should not tolerate the hoarding of riches by the administrators of their religion (pope, etc.).

  6. The eye of the needle was a small opening in the wall of a city where merchants were required to get there camels on their knees and inch through the opening to the city. God wants all poor in spirit and pure of heart. The proverbs say”Lord made me neither rich nor poor.” If I become rich I may become arrogant and think I don’t need You. If I am poor I may forget Your concepts and steal.

  7. Yes, I think God wants all of us to be rich. Yet I think God wants above all for us to live for Him. For many people wealth distracts them from loving Him and loving others. Thus I think God wants all of us to enjoy the blessings He has given us, financial blessings included, the question for me as a Christian is to ask if being rich will bump loving God and loving others down from the top spot in my priority list.

  8. Curiosity Media

    God doesn’t want us to be rich in a sense of having all the money in world. People who do have the money seem rich on the outside but are they rich in the inside? Do they have true love or is it just greed? God wants us to have peace at heart, the love within our family, and the understanding we have for each other. If we’re too rich, we won’t have that but greed. If we’re too poor, we might steal and that’s against the ten commandment. God wants us to have “enough” in our lives. Not too much and not too little. ^__^

  9. Does GOD care if we are rich or poor? I don’t think so. I think he cares if we are good. Love GOD and then love thy neighbor as thyself. If I am rich and a trustworthy steward, doing good in GOD’s name, that will bring spiritual reward. If I am poor but still would give what I have to further the work and word of GOD then that will bring spiritual reward. Certainly GOD would want us to make the most of whatever talents and wealth we are given, whether we are rich OR poor.

    Am I successfully applying this philosophy? probably not, but I will keep trying and hoping those around me are also doing their best to live good honest lives, regardless of their theological beliefs.

  10. You can stand assured on this answer. Yes God wants you to have plenty. It would be wise to recognize all of the ingredients to a happy life. You can’t put a price tag on a sound mind, healthy body, and a complete soul. In Gods terms, he is focusing on your soul first. This is the best part. It means you’ll be able to enjoy all aspects of your life. However, without love you can be rich and still be miserable. So Lets take a look at what the bible says about wealth.

    First things first, God is Love.
    1 John Chapter 4 8 – Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

    3 John 1:2 – beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.

    2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times; having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. ( key word here is abound, as in leaps and bounds)

    Deuteronomy 11
    13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 15And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. (First – love God, with all your heart and soul.) Cattle, Oil, Wine, Corn are extremely wealthy items for biblical times. Translated for today it means, “overflowing”

    NIV – Mark 10

    29″I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” — You’ll need to read this verse in context, starting at Mark 10 17- but we see the same message as before, putting God first in your life is the answer to the question; does God want me to be Rich? Wealth is a byproduct of Love, and God is Love. Simply being a rich man, is looked at like as a self oriented state of mind or an independent carnal attitude.

    Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

    John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

    17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

    A tip: Be grateful for what you have already, say thank you everyday. And expect good things to happen in your gratitude, ( gratitude is part Love and God is Love) each and every day abounding more and more.

    • kaizer waribo

      J2 may God bless you for this expository teaching you got it accurate and that what we the believer’s should do first (love of God) the Bible says that we sick first the kingdom of God and his righteousness that every other thing shall be added unto us.thank you.

  11. JarrodChambers

    Mark 10:25
    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    Luke 18:18-30
    A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19″Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'[a]”
    21″All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
    22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
    23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    26Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
    27Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
    28Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
    29″I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

    All the answeres are in the Bible. They are clear and not open to interpretation like Americans have been taught. God does not want us to be rich. Agape Love- look it up.
    Next “Sunday School, Sunday Teacher” One day I asked God to reveal to me the “Sabbath Day” in prayer (4th Commandment). I was a keeper of Sunday worship but asked for Gods will in my life because I had no good nor solid answere to why I was a Sunday worshiper and Jesus was a Sabbath keeper (Saturday). many churches have a good foundation and mean well- but this is a salvation issue as God has instructed to keep His Commandments. I am 26 and have been a Sabbath keeper for 2 years now. Please, Please look into this. I have been abandoned by family and friends to make this change. I have been called many names. Is that the Christian way? No. All because I obey the Lord on Saturday, all because I rest on Saturday. there is soooooo much to this. (blessings, rest, family time, time to praise the Lord and it lets you watch Sunday Football with no guilt). haha.
    Always pray for the will of God in your life. He will show you. God rests on the seventh day (Saturday). he does it to hear your prayers, he does it to build a relationship, he does it to pour blessings on you. I hear “its just a day”, “we should praise the Lord every day” – yes always praise God- but there is a day set aside, we can’t rest every day can we? We can’t have Sabbath when we want it. email me with questions. [email protected]

    • Jarrod, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’ve read the text many times, although I note that many references in the Old Testament speak of God’s financial blessings for those that follow him. Solomon was wealthy. Luke and Matthew were likely very wealthy by standard of that day. Paul I think did well for himself.

    • Prosperity teaching is a lie from the devil himself. My son has been involved in this for over 20 years he has nothing, got divorced and still has nothing. He only has the money he gets paid at the end of the month. They were taught give and God will bless you with more. Invest in the pastor and the church and you will be blessed your debts will disappear. Only the pastors enriched themselves and go on the most expensive holidays and live in palaces. No I have seen enough but you know what God loves them and all we can do is pray for them that God will heal them from spiritual blindness.

      Jesus said my Kingdom is not of this world. There are people that he blesses everybody cant be rich as Jesus said the poor you will always have with you. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say we must pay 10% it was in the time of Moses where the people will still under the law. New Testament giving is grace giving give what you have and more. If you give God only 10% in any case you are robbing Him. The bible says true faith is to look after the widows and the orphans. We need to praise God everyday for spiritual blessings and Grace that we do not deserve. He is faithfull He knows what each one needs and all we need to do is love others share if we are rich with those who dont have.

      • kaizer waribo

        Thank you ma for your thought, please I want comment on one thing you said concerned tithing. Tithe is not a law but a commandment from the time of Adam and Eve to the time of Noah they leave in the grace of God. Law came from the time of moses to regulate the attitude of the children of Israelites it wasn’t God wish to treat them with hard law but because of their hardness of Heart God brought the act of law. That was what christ came to do to remove those burdensome conditions because they cannot be able to keep. It is only the ten commandments that christ came to fulfill. So tithe is not a law but part of our lives remember Abraham pay tithe to Melchizedek, Isaac pay tithe to God not that they were force to do it but because it is part of live also note that Melchizedek the Bible says that he has no father mother or any trace that should be God you know!!!!!!.

  12. Peter Wolfe

    Don’t you think instead of a blessing of wealth that its a test of God to test you by temptation? Middle class people get wound up into this pontification that they are more blessed cause they have more instead rather they have more materially perhaps not spiritually. Many middle class people live like the pharisees and scribes did in the Gospels with their segrgated lifestyles away from true poverty in our streets and neighborhoods. They lock their doors calling others lazy, worthless, ugly, thieves, and so on and so foth about them.
    I think that the middle to upper class should give much more as the poor are often times exploited out of cheap labour cause of being viewed as being expendable. We are are all exposable in the end myself included. The nerve of the well to do in society thinks wrongly its a temptation of the devil is what I’m thinking to test your faith. We are all given tests of our faith and wealth is most certainly one of the well to do in the world today likeit was back them. Looking at poor people its a fundamental trust issue ause of their deprived natures in Africa, Latin America and Asia to beckon true belief from disppair is hard to come by for sure. Then, the poor here in the United States in comparison seems margainly wide but its not really when you have seen as much as my eyes have seen or my ears have heard of the crying of the poor. Homeless, sing mothers, ghetto dwellers and the alike like foster/adoptees and others can haunt you at night and instead christians largely give up. The nerve of well to do people to think that the pooor won’t resort to relying on the governmet from your misdoings is apparenlty out of arrogance cause of yoru largely apathetic classist false sense of superiority in this ntion towards your own people an that of the world’s pooor.

  13. Hello all,

    It’s funny I’ve been thinking about this for two days. I’ve had the chance to Pastor more then one church, as well had great money, 6,000sf home and more. I’ve also seen the side of life, where money was no where to be found. I can remember my wife, had $5.00 and through the provision of God she was able to feed the family for 1 week.

    To the point!

    For a while I’ve been the person to say, preachers should not teach about wealth. I’ve been the person to look at preachers adn say why do they need that huge home or all those cars? I’ve often, said to serve God a person needs not those things, because the bible tells us the love of money is the root to all evil.

    God has given, me another thought about wealth. For sometime I’ve always knew the power of God to heal people from sickness, because through the ministry he gave me, people were healed. But I’m starting to understand his power in wealth. The bible tells us, it’s God who gives us the power to get wealth. With this said, we find many people in the bible who were pretty wealthy.

    I’m finding the Jesus said on earth as it is in heaven. God wants his children to be blessed as well live in wealth. Think about how often Jesus did things that pointed to the thought of wealth. He turned water into wine, and not just any wine but fine wine. With 2 fish and 5 loves of bread he feed a gret amount of people.

    Having money, will give people to ability to help others, show God’s blessings with homes, cars, healing and more. As well having wealth will prevent sickness in the body, and allow many people not to be stressed which will do it’s part on the body.

    God however will not let his people LOVE money or wealth. He never said be poor, because it’s to many people in the bible who had a lot. God put Adam in the garden where he had everything. God only wants to still be the center of your life if you are wealthy. The bible says it’s hard for a rich person to get into heaven. It’s never said that rich person would not make it to heaven.

    Seek after God, if he gives you the power or wisdom to get wealth, always keep him first, before the money or wealth. The danger with some people having wealth is they will give all the credit to themself or the money God has blessed them with.

    It’s not wrong to have wealth. Theh bible says don’t store up things on this earth, and again this is telling us don’t put all your faith trust and hope in money and wealth.

    • kaizer waribo

      Pastor God bless you real good you have just mentioned what I wanted to say without money evangelical work will suffer, without money widows and other poor people in the church cannot be cared for so money play major role the church now to be rich is good “to be wealthy is not good because you cannot much time for God and his flocks you will be thinking every moment on how to maintain your wealth. Now rich mean that you are not in the class of wealth people and you are not in the class of poor people.

  14. Yes, 1 John 3:1 I think,tells us that Above all things I hope that you prosper and be in good health even as your souls propser. In Psalms it tells us that Wealth and Riches are in our house.

  15. One thing people need to understand is to be rich is not the same as to be wealthy. Riches consist of currency for the most part, stocks, bonds, credit (dollars), etc. Wealth; however, consist of having natural resources. Example If the world runs out of water it doesn’t matter how much Bill Gates’ budget allows him to spend, where will he go to spend it on water? The wealth is in having the ability to sustain yourself and family from nature.

    Please don’t misunderstand me and think I expect people to be/become nature gurus, but natural resources are the only things considered to be wealth, i.e. those who have natural resources are wealthy. This is the reason all governments are evil. Because they want to and will do anything to control these resources in order to become RICH from their sales.

    Now on to the subject at hand. The prosperity gospel is not sound doctrine. The same type of unsound doctrine that Paul warned Timothy about when he said, “in the last days the people will not give heed to sound doctrine”.

    With that said the doctrine of having money, but not letting it have you was birthed and nurtured from the prosperity gospel as an excuse for them to commit their crimes against the Father and fellow men (whether they know it or not, two sides to every coin).

    The scriptures used to support this gospel are twisted and manipulated to the utmost, as well as the hearts and minds of the hearers. For instance most professors of the Faith believe that the love of money is the root of all evil, but then turn around and say the Father wants them to be rich and they, in turn, desire to be rich. However, in the preceding verses Paul says,

    (Starting in the middle of verse 5. Please read the whole chapter for context)

    “5 …supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself . 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out . 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content . 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil…”

    Likewise, 3 John 1 is Johns’ prayer for us and not a commandment from the Father that says as your soul prospers so will your finances and health.

    Then you also have that belief that the Christ was rich, but I read that the disciples asked where to get money to feed all the people as a test from the Christ who then performs a miracle in feed thousands.

    Then he also tells us that we are to store up riches in heaven not on the earth. Never said different, but the people assume it’s all good.

    The rich young ruler kept his riches and went away sorrowful. Zacchaeus who was a tax collector like Matthew who gave half of all he had to the poor, and to anyone he wronged by false accusation he gave four times what they lost from the other half he had left over.

    Thus it can be assumed, with reason, that Matthew who followed the Christ for the duration of until his death was not a rich man. Paul says the disciples were chosen by the Father to be displayed last among all men brethren included.

    My final thought is that the believer is to have faith in a promise to come and to strive to receive that promise. Therefore the directive from the Christ is for those who truly believe to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, then look at the birds of the field.

  16. Well personally I believe it’s different for every person. I do not believe God plans for EVERY one of his children to be rich. The proof is with friends I’ve had who were called to start an orphanage in Uguanda, in some dangerous areas, and now they live there permanently. They used to live in Canada in Dauphin, Manitoba. Also money can relieve stress, but sorry not all of it. There will always be stress in some way shape or form. There are people who have tonnes of money yet may hate themselves deep inside and use money as a cover up. Why are there poor people? It’s not always the case of them being lazy or they haven’t been blessed. Crap happens in this world, and I’m not trying to play the victim, but what happens to a mother who’s husband died? Or left her with nothing? What about a kid who’s parents die and has no where else to go but an orphanage? How about the people in Africa? Some of them make less than 100 dollars a year yet still have joy and excitement. Remember what Paul stated. He knew what it was like to have much, and he also knew what it was like to have little, but in any state he learnt to be content. Could going through a financial strain also be a lesson for us to trust God above our own doing? In 2nd Timothy it also states do not think that following God will bring you riches. Basically don’t follow God expecting you will be rich. And the old tithing rule had nothing to do with money as well. It was in the old testament and it went to the levites, then the levites gave a tenth to the priests. It was always to do with food, and when reading the Bible notice much of the references in parables etc….. were always to do with food. I’ve never ever come across a verse in the Bible where the tithe was money. I believe that we have to be generous but sometimes that 10% is more than what we do have. Paul even says in Romans not to give more than what we are able. That when we were generous we will have all that is provided when we have nothing to give. There will be stages in life where we won’t always be able to give what we want. I’m not against being rich or giving 10% but we really need to open the Bible more, and read everything in it’s whole context. Read the history behind certain laws etc………I believe personally that the prosperity gospel can harm people. Say there is a person who just got saved and expects riches, but doesn’t get rich, will they still serve God with all their heart and mind? That’s just my two cents

  17. I believe there are certain people who are able to handle large sums of money and not be affected like many other people would be. I feel its not a sin to have money, but I can see it becoming a problem between trusting in your money or trusting in god. I believe in Christ and know he is real, but it is amazing and hard to always trust in a God you have neither seen or heard from other than what his word says. Then you are required to continue in this pattern until your death. At least certain Israelite men and women were able to walk and talk with him especially abraham, moses, john the baptist, and mary etc. To be honest I am sick of never having any money and this very same reason brings arguements and quarrels among my marriage. It sucks living paycheck to paycheck and the thing is I work all time and at one point had two jobs. I make good money but it is never enough and its not like have anything to show for either. Im sorry but having some money cant be all that bad.

  18. It’s extremely tough to concern yourself with spiritual matters when you are cursed with financial lack. Money cannot(they say) buy happiness, but it sure as hell can buy you out of the misery of physical want. If you’ve not been poor, you have no idea what I’m talking about, so no preaching, capiche?

  19. Mr. Wonderful

    Of course, “God” wants me to be ‘rich.’ “RICH” as I devise it from having read His book, is being independent of relying upon others for my sustenance. That might also imply freeform social security as well, but since I had to pay into that for years at 66 I’ll tap into it. (I’m 62 now but have not taken my “reduced” ss., I’m also retired.
    We have no debts, my wife also 62 has tapped her ss benefit. I do enjoy a small pension from my work. We have a nice retirement fund from our 401-K’s and our ROTH accounts established when we were both working. “RICH” as in 1% definitely NOT!! Comfortable in our skin with our “stuff” most definitely! Between the two of us working full time we only once ever exceeded 100 grand on an income tax form. Healthcare is figured into our monthly costs.

    So, how much is enough? We saved for many-years, even when we would have rather ‘consumed.’ We will spend down, and convert to a ROTH enough to max-out the 15% tax bracket between now and 70. If we’re both alive we will worry about minimum distributions then.

  20. Mr. Wonderful

    Fat fingers…..should read “also imply freedom from social security…”

    So, HOW much is enough? Freedom from want, Freedom to give, Freedom to live a reasonable existence.

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