Reflection on Riches

I was recently invited to look at the profile of someone on Facebook that is about what appears to be one of those multilevel marketing business models.  They usually have words to this effect, “We market services directly to consumers and small businesses worldwide, eliminating the high costs of traditional marketing methods.” Read this statement with the following “Instead we are going to rely on you to do it and make you rich in the process, but we’ll be even richer!”

Does 1 Timothy 6:9 apply to this? “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

I am, like Paul, having to learn to be content in all circumstances.  At least I’m in good company!

Philippians 4:12 NIV
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” I struggle with redeeming what Paul teaches on contentment with ambition to earn more, even if it is for Kingdom purposes. What are your thoughts on this?

I agree that money like wealth has no inherently good or evil properties.
I agree that the Word does not condemn riches per se, or the rich.
I agree that God’s work needs money in many cases (sharing your faith with your neighbour costs nothing, btw except your time and we all have the same amount).

What I do challenge is the idea that being rich is necessarily an abundance of money. Most of Paul’s use of the word “rich” refers to our riches in Christ.

“But what about those who think being devout is being poor, struggling or sick? Is this not a form of religiosity?”

I think it is offensive to say that those who live in poverty, struggle or sickness are religious! To suggest that people in poverty have necessarily a lack of faith is equally offensive! It makes a mockery of thousands of Christian martyrs all over the world who often have lived in the most abject of circumstances, yet have given the ultimate sacrifice for the Lord.
Furthermore, the passage I quoted in Philippians 4:12 is not about carnality v. spirituality, it is in fact in the context of giving money!

I challenge you to do a NT word search of rich or riches, you’ll find that the vast majority of the Epistles the references are not financial, although in a few instances do not exclude finances, such as Romans 2:4; Romans 9:23; Romans 11:12; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2; etc.

Finally, Jesus himself was poor. He was not rich for the simple reason, I believe, that the poor too, could identify with him. I pray that you will wisely ensure that your business pitch is reflective of your response above as well as Biblical teaching on the matter, which is summed up in this verse, 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” This, incidentally is the only 1 of 3 times the word prosper is used in the entire NT, and of the 3 usages it is used of finance only once, but in the context of giving. The key point being that we should prosper in our soul first and foremost, as all riches are fleeting and it is better to store treasures in Heaven by investing as little as a glass of water with compassion.


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