DOES GOD WANT YOU TO BE RICH? Money, wealth + what the Bible says

DOES GOD WANT YOU TO BE RICH? Money, wealth + what the Bible says


Hi I’m Tammy Sevcov and this is
Worth Considering where we stretch our minds and our hearts to look at the other side
of the story and see how we as Christians can better engage with the
world around us and today… we’re talking about money [SINGING] money, money, money, mo-ney, MO-NEY.
Right? I mean, come on, it comes to mind. Okay so for the next few episodes I’m gonna be talking
about some different topics on money I’m gonna be talking about capitalism and
socialism and unjust wages and even touch on a little thing I like to call
Christian communism found right there in the book of Acts.
But before we get into all of that, I’d like to start with this idea of the biblical perspective of
money. Now, my own personal view of money has radically changed over the
last 20 years. What I grew up and (in the church) and had thought I knew; a lot
of it came from traditions or things that I heard from people but it wasn’t
necessarily founded in really studying Scripture. And I was pretty confident it
was biblical or it was godly but I really hadn’t looked at it for myself.
So, today what I’m hoping to do is propose to you a question and challenge our
thinking a little bit so my question that I’m starting with today is:
“Does God want you to be rich?” I mean it’s a good question, isn’t it?
So here’s where I’m gonna start; I’ve noticed a huge disparity in the Christian psyche when it comes to wealth. What I mean is when we’re at church were really good at
saying we don’t need anything. We don’t believe in wealth. We don’t want wealth.
We don’t want money. In fact I heard one guy talk about (I’m
pretty sure it’s the old King James Version), “filthy lucre” and, man! That sounds terrible. I certainly don’t want that. But then I hear people at home
talking completely differently, talking about the the car they want, the home they want, the gaming system they want, that there’s this idea that I have these
things that I really do want and and I want money I want to find a good job; I
want to earn the right kind of salary to get the the job that I want to get the
kind of wealth that I want. So while we’re in “God’s house” we’re really good
at saying we don’t want wealth and when we’re outside of “God’s house” we’re good
at talking about all the wealth we’re hoping to accumulate. And I
just call us out and say; you know what guys? We’re kind of being Pharisees about
the whole thing. We need to know what we believe and be straight up
about it. If you believe we shouldn’t have money, then go clean out your
checking account today, go give it all away and ask God what to do next. If
that’s really what you believe. But I think there’s there’s an importance of
studying scripture to know what is it that we ought to believe.
One of the problems is that there’s an ideal in the church that poverty is automatically
pious. Like to give up everything is righteousness. Right? We look at someone
who’s awesome, who did great work like Mother Teresa of Calcutta; who, her work
with the orphans there in India was absolutely beautiful. And she she took a
vow of poverty; she owned nothing. That’s a beautiful thing, but is that what
everybody is supposed to do? You know, I honor her for the work that she did I don’t know that I honor her specifically more for being for taking a vow of
poverty she just did what God called her to do. But the problem is is that when we
start to think that poverty itself, or giving up everything, is automatically
pious; we start to get toward the idea of self-flagellation. Which was common in
the church pre-reformation. Right? The when the Catholic Church kind of ruled
and things had gotten very corrupt. Self-flagellation – I am, by the way, not
talking about flatulence. That’s a completely different topic and we
probably will not be talking about that anytime soon – So, self-flagellation is
when people would like beat themselves to prove that they were sinners and
how bad they felt about being sinners and gave themselves, you know, this
idea of like walking on the ground crawling on their knees and gravel – to
cause pain – to repent, right? But the reality is when you understand grace
that Jesus paid for our sin once and for all we don’t have to keep paying for it.
This idea of self-flagellation should be really just dealt with with the simple
passage that says when when King Solomon was told, hey listen; God desires
obedience rather than sacrifice. He’s not looking for you to give up everything,
but to obey Him, that’s what he wants! Would you listen to what he says? I
personally had to struggle with this at one point because I really had a desire
and have a desire to be married but I also felt like there was this
question; like, well, I’m not married yet so does that mean I’m supposed to give
this up? Do I have a wrong desire in my heart? And I remember bringing it to the
Lord and saying; Lord I’ll give this up I’ll choose to stay single I mean Paul
talks about that it’s better so if that’s what you’re saying…
And I really felt like the Lord challenged me and said, Tammy I’m asking you to just obey
me I have no problem with the desire in your heart In a sense I felt like he was saying, I have no problem with the desire in your heart, so long as it’s not
superseding what I’m asking you to do. Now, just to clarify for those of you who
are not used to hearing somebody say they heard from God; I’m not talking
about an audible voice, but just like a sense on the inside, some scriptures that
I read that I felt like were really pointed and directed to me, and it just
confirmed in my heart that this was this is what he was saying and it’s just
completely backed up by what scripture talks about. So the question is not, you
know, beat yourself up and prove how humble you are. But will you listen to me?
Will you be led by me? In fact some people like to talk about the rich young
ruler, right? You remember the story? He comes to Jesus, says to Jesus how can I, you know, inherit internal life? Jesus says, obey the commandments. He’s like yeah, I
already did that. Like hello, I already did that. Got the commandments down. Check. Next? Anyway so then Jesus says well one thing you lack, give away everything
you have or sell everything you have give away to the poor and your treasure
will be in heaven come and follow me. People say, “see, there you go! Jesus said
give away everything you have. That’s what Jesus wanted.” Well, here’s the here’s
the tension point for those who’d like to use this as a ubiquitous command is
that Jesus didn’t say this to everybody. He was talking to one person and saying
YOU need something. You lack something, right now. And it’s obvious Jesus was
right on the money because the guy went away and was very sorrowful and couldn’t
do it he couldn’t give up all that he had because see the problem wasn’t just
that he had money, the problem was that money had him. His heart was tied up. Look guys, you don’t have to have money to have the love of money scripture says
the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. The love of money is often
found in impoverished people; they’re sure that money will solve their
problems; and in a very secular worldview it does. I mean money helps with a lot of
things. But the truth is if you think money is the rescue then you’re no
longer looking to God to be the rescue. If the only thing you ask God for is
money then you’re not looking for his provision
you’re looking for money, right? The idea is you know God may provide you a house
by bringing money, by bringing a better salary, by by bringing a better situation,
by giving you a good deal. He might also provide you a house by having some crazy
uncle you didn’t know that he set up generations ago, die and put it in his
will for you to be given a house. Right? The idea is does the provision come from
God or does the provision come from money? That’s the tension
point and after the rich young ruler walked away to remember Jesus said, he
said “How hard is it for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” and the
disciples were shocked because they’re like what do you mean? They had no notion
there was no idea that wealth would be bad, right? In our culture we we
automatically seem to think that but in their minds in their in their religious
upbringing there was nothing that was bad about money. But Jesus then
clarifies; he like takes it down a another notch, or takes it up another
natch truly. And says “how hard is it for those who TRUST in riches, to enter the
kingdom.” If your trust is in riches you’re not trusting in God. It’s very
clear he says, “you can’t serve God and Mammon (the god of wealth).” You can’t serve both you have to pick one One has to be your priority, not ‘and’
If you look through all of Scripture, I mean, the history of scripture, you see
that God never had a problem with people having wealth. It was never a problem. You
look at Abraham – the very first covenant God gives – it’s very clear. He says,
“Abraham I’m gonna bless you, I’m gonna make your name great. I mean,
“make your name great”, it’s like “Abraham I’m gonna make you famous.” Right? We would be like, “are you kidding?! God doesn’t want people to be famous!” it no listen he doesn’t
have any problem with these things so we who have the problem! Right? He wanted
people to look at Abraham and be like “look here’s the guy I blessed who had a
child that are ridiculously old age I did the impossible through him! Notice
him! Right? Even his children; Abraham Isaac Jacob blessed. There’s wealth.
There’s good things coming to them. Then you look at King David: totally
blessed financially. Solomon: ridiculous. In fact in Solomon’s day they actually
started piling up silver outside of the city because they couldn’t count it all.
It became like pennies in our world, they only used gold as currency. That’s how
wealthy Solomon made, not only himself, but the city and the
people of Israel. This is what I’m talking about. There’s just no problem in
God’s mind for wealth, it’s just not a problem. It’s we who get a little
confused about it. That God is the one who’s saying no you shouldn’t have
things. No, God is the one saying your heart shouldn’t be tied to these things.
Matthew 6:33 “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these
things will be added to you” Most of us who would quote that through the 1st
book of Traditions, would be something like, you know, “seek first the kingdom of
God and His righteousness and you don’t need all that stuff!!”
It’s not what he said. he’s a good dad. You know, I don’t see a
discrepancy between Jesus challenging the rich young ruler to give everything
to the poor, and saying when Mary (remember the the sister of Martha and
Lazarus?) when she breaks that costly alabaster flask over Jesus feet, and
basically dumps a year’s worth of salary over Jesus’s feet. And he says – and Judas
pipes up – JUDAS pipes up and says you know shouldn’t that have been sold and
money given to the poor? and by the way if you read the passage
you know that Judas’s motives were not pure. But Jesus says you know the poor
you’ll always have. She did something special. He just dismissed the poor. And
here’s why I believe that is; because with the rich young ruler and with
Mary’s costly spikenard, neither was about the poor.
It was each about the person’s heart in the moment, what was going on. What she
was doing was a beautiful act of worship; giving up something so precious to Jesus.
What the rich young ruler was needing was the ability to do that. To release
what he had and not hold on to it. Scripture is filled with passages that
tell us that he’ll provide all of our needs according to his riches in glory.
Notice it’s not just according to your need, it’s according to his riches in
glory. You say, “well, Tammy, “need” is different than ‘want’ and desires and
and fleshly things.” And you’re absolutely right. But that’s still subjective.
I mean, honestly, “need”? What do you need? A car? Well, yeah for my job.
No you don’t NEED a car. I know people who walk miles and miles to get to their jobs.
There’s many countries where people don’t have cars at all, they manage. You
don’t need a car. Do you need a house? Come on? You could live in an
apartment. No, you could live in a room in someone else’s house.
See we can get so so pedantic about what does ‘need’ actually mean – and you actually need that? That we actually stop remembering that God is our father and
that he likes to take care of us what dad do you know that that when
you’re their children is being obedient they’re like “you don’t need that!” A good
father says “oh my gosh, I would love to bless you with that.” Now, you also know to
bless them according to what they can handle. If you’re a good father
right you don’t give them things they can’t handle yet. Just like we wouldn’t
give the keys to your Mercedes to a two-year-old because they can’t handle
it. But at the same time, you might give that two-year-old one of those
little awesome little Jeep things they can ride around. I mean, that would be fun.
I would like that if I was a two-year-old. Right? So there’s
this idea that, God is a good dad. He wants to take care of us and it’s and
it’s funny how we get so mad, you know, what happened is we got these faith
preachers and people who quote some of these scriptures about wealth
and things and we get mad about it – but the truth is they’re in the Bible! Don’t
get mad at the preachers. And yes there have been some abuses and I’m not
talking about that. I’m talking about just coming back to the Word. What does
it say? Having money is not a sin. In fact,
the way scripture talks to me, says that if I’m a business owner, an employee, I
should expect financial provision and blessing. And I should expect to make
sure that my hand is open enough that God can put money in my hand and tell me
to send it right back out. It’s loving money that’s the sin. That if my heart is
tied into it, that’s when I’m gonna be in trouble. And hey, I’ve got to challenge us;
we’ve got to stop getting mad at pastors when they bring up money. Because I
believe this, I believe that money is one of the most significant topics of stress
in our lives and if we’re not hearing from people who give spiritual insight
about these topics then we’re the ones probably with the problem. In fact I
would challenge you on this. On one side you should never feel guilted into an
offering – ever ever ever ever ever God says he loves a cheerful giver.
The same time if you’re feeling guilted, I would I would at least ask you to
question your heart; to figure out if it’s the preacher that’s guilting
you, or if it’s something on the inside you know is off. And it’s just bothering
you because you don’t want to hear it. Come on, we got to be straight up with
ourselves. We want to grow, so let me ask you this –
Would you comment below; what is your perspective on money in the Bible? Is
there anything that I shared today that honestly kind of rubs you wrong? It’s not
the way you believe? It’s not the way you thought? Maybe there’s other scriptures
that you’d like to point out to me or point out to each other? This is a place
we want to have great conversation. Do you even think you might have biases on
this topic? Love to hear your thoughts on that! Hey listen, Worth Considering is all
about good conversation and growing together. So please go ahead and add your
comments but listen we have a rule here if you’re gonna rage we’re not gonna
engage. So, I will love to respond to your comments but if people are just gonna
hate, I’m just not even going to pay attention. I’d encourage the community to
do the same thing we don’t need to hear people’s get it angry because the
internet is full of people getting angry I want to have really good healthy
conversation to grow together in this so thank you for listening hey if you
enjoyed this please give me a big thumbs up subscribe make sure you stayed in
touch and as always I want to challenge you this week make sure you consider the
other side of the story

3 Comments

  1. Eric Rossoni says:

    I think the hardest thing to always talk or address is money and the Bible. It’s honestly not the easiest so I commend your bravery on attempting to tackle it! 14 minutes I don’t think is enough time to completely address the issue and topic. A couple things I think would’ve been helpful to address that I’m sure many would find helpful, is mentioning about those who do and have abuse scripture, twist it to fund their ministry and guilt trip people into thinking if they send that $1000 seed, that for sure their breakthrough/healing will take place. I think you know who and what I’m talking about. Would’ve loved to see you address that issue about those, who actually have done wrong, in the name of Jesus as a Christian, using their ministry to fund their lavish lifestyle. Not all abuse it and God truly has blessed them with wealth, some I personally believe have and are literally in it for the money or sometimes later in the ministry became about the money.

    But the question you opposed as the title, “Does God want you to be rich?” I would say absolutely not 😉 not scriptural, you won’t find it in the Bible. But will God bless us that can bring us wealth, sure absolutely. I do find it fascinating that Jesus during his 3 year ministry, lived poor. But as a carpenter made quite a bit of money as his robe was a very good quality for the Roman guards to bid and fight over it. Now does that mean we are suppose to live poor? Haha not at all but I have unfortunate seen the bad side of ministry, seen people who still are in ministry, still on tv, who pulled off scams and went to jail for them and as soon as they got out, went right back into it. I’ve seen people who falsely prophesy but because some of their prophecy came true, and many took this person as a legit prophet, this person now has gone on tv, made books and movies about their prophetic word and is trying to make money off it. That to me is sad and should be addressed.

    So I as much as I agree with you in your video about not living poor and because some lived a radical life like mother Teressa which is awesome, that it’s ok if you don’t. That God doesn’t have a problem with money and as long as you are not serving money, and money doesn’t own you, your good! It would be great to see you make a part 2 on the bad side of money and address that. I don’t think it’s necessary to call out ministries and people but I do think it’s important to mention and address it. I personally believe, a handful of preachers/ministers have abused and used scriptures to explain why them being rich is scriptural and their lifestyle is ok and why them wanting to purchase a 54 million dollar jet even tho they own 3 is not a problem. Especially when their reasons for having a private jet they share with someone else who owns one as well, is literally so they don’t have to fly commercial because theirs too many demons on the plane and they need their peace and quite with God. 🤦🏽‍♂️

    Didn’t mean this to be long lol but I do hope you see what I’m talking about, that of course God doesn’t have a problem with us being wealthy and us making more money but their has been ministers and still are who do abuse it and I think that’s important to address the bad side. Because of the access people have and info they can look up about a preacher now a days, sadly people do see the bad side of Christianity. Anyways, hope you don’t view my comment as negative lol but just giving critical honest feedback 😊

  2. Bryan Robinson says:

    Good word Tammy! 😊
    I was talking with a friend the other day regarding this topic. Job, Abraham, Solomon, and othes in the Bible were blessed by the Lord, and they were wealthy. As we look at the people who portray the prophets of old or the blessed of old today, we can see how the Lord has blessed some of these pastors, apostles, evangelists, etc., whom are also wealthy.
    It definitely gives an opportunity to brag on God, in a sense. Solomon's wealth was heard of throughout the world. Today we have Forbes and social media to tell who's in the millionaire/billionaire club. Kind of reminds me of the series by KM "Would Jesus Wear A Rolex?"

    Bless You 😇

  3. Katherine Robinson says:

    Good word.

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