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May 13, 2012


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As an atheist, the question I have to ask is: "Do I want me to be rich?"

We are all give gifts (talents) that we can use in our life. Some of these talents can make us money and some not so much. How we spend our time using these talents is another. If we squander or hide them we lose. In the right place and time we can prosper. In the wrong mode of thinking (being envious of others possessions, greedy, love of money) is where we could lose big time.

Another thing is perspective.
A man with a half million dollars may consider himself rich and happy with his life while another man may consider himself poor becasue he does not have his goal of a million dollars and is miserable.

I don't understand the logic behind that article. If everyone was as poor as I am, then no one would be able to help anyone else. I know how frustrating it is for me to see other poor people, and be unable to do anything substantial for them. If everyone lived on less than $5,000 a year, then how would we be able to bless others? The whole country would be in shambles, no one would have a job, we'd all be digging up roots and looking for berries to eat, and most everyone would probably just die.

We need some Christians in the world to be rich, or else churches wouldn't even be able to function financially. Personally, I *want* to be rich, so I can help other people who are poor.

Thank you so much for this post. I agree completely, and love the book you mentioned. Soooo many people (especially the media) love to take isolated passages out of the Bible ("Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven," etc.) and misconstrue them. They completely ignore the balanced, non-contradictory message of the Bible.

I think God wants you to realize that, by being surrounded by His bounty, you are rich.

In God's wisdom book, Proverbs 30 verses 8-9, there is a prayer.

Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches—
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

Yes, there needs to be balance. Either extreme has its dangers.

First I have to say I really dislike when people misquote the bible and this verse in particular which says "The love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil." It doesn't say Money is the root of all evil.

Ultimately I don't believe God wants us to be "rich" in the way we understand being rich nor does he want us to be poor. Rather he wants us to help the poor, the widowed, the orphans, and we do this by sharing a portion of what he has given to us. To share our wealth so that everyone has enough each day. This is pretty clear throughout the Bible.

The fact is if you are not giving now to help others being "rich" won't change anything. It will simply magnify what is in your heart. Without trying to be long winded the world would be an immensely better place if people shared more and took less. Americans don't understand what true poverty is yet we have the money and resources to effectively combat it.

Take a look here to see how rich you are,

Note: the above link is in absolute dollars and not adjusted for cost of living but regardless the number is staggering give in that most of the world lives on less than $2/day.

This got me thinking about whether I LOVE money... At first I would say no, hah! However when I think about it, I do LOVE the security that comes with having more and more debt paid off each month, an emergency fund, the house I'm so happy with... money may not buy happiness but for me it does buy security and freedom, and that is close. We just try to pass it on as much as we can so other people can also benefit.

In answer to BD:
Yes, I believe God wants everyone to have MORE THAN THEY NEED in order to bless others. However, Jesus said the person who gives money out of his/her poverty is more generous than one who gives money out of riches, like the poor widow in the Bible. (Luke 21:1-4). God smiles on a heart like this and prepares you for the overflow of blessings to be shared with the less fortunate.

I have to take issue with #2 "If you follow the bible's advice, you will become wealthy."

This kind of thinking is a trap. It's a cruel trap that causes us to perceive suffering and poverty as the fault of the ones who suffer. The vast majority of people who do exactly what the bible says to do will NOT become wealthy. All of us who are wealthy have been fortunate. If we believe our good fortune (which is random good luck) is earned or deserved by our having "followed the bible's advice" than we are spiritually bankrupt.

Catherine --

If you do those things in #2 (and the others noted in the link), isn't it mathematically impossible to be poor?

The question is though, can all people do those things? (Like earn a good income.) The answer to that is probably "no."

So it's not following the advice that's the issue, because if you can and do follow the advice, you will become wealthy. It's whether or not someone can (or will) follow it.

FMF: Not everyone can follow the advice to "spend less than they earn", because they might not be blessed with the ability to earn enough money to even pay for the most basic of bills, such as rent and food. If you can only earn $200 a month, no matter how hard or enthusiastically you work, then it's unlikely you'll only spend $200, unless you decide to become homeless and become even worse off. At some point, you end up borrowing money just to keep a roof over your head.

Or, perhaps you don't borrow any money, and manage to live on $200 a month (I have), but there isn't much to save. That's not a road to riches either.

In order to make enough money to both survive AND save/invest, you need to be blessed with enough brain power, good health and good connections to land a good job(s) that pays more than what it takes to merely exist. Not everyone has been blessed that way. So yes, they might not be able to follow that advice, but it's also not always their fault.

BD --

Isn't that what I said?

When we talk abt talents, i dont believe tht refers just to money. I believe like one of the other posts said we must use wht we have. Take for instance a man tht is good at building tools or another tht is good at building houses, even another tht is good at hunting also another tht is good at growing things from the earth. If u put all of these people together using their 'talents' to assist one another u have a prosperous community never needing for money. Think abt it...u have one to build shelter,the other to make tools needed for building shelter,working the fields, and even for hunting. Then u have yr farmer and hunter who can feed the community. If each person used their 'talents' to help one another(charity) no one would be hungry, cold, or unclothed. Tht is what i believe Jesus meant with tht parable. Time IS LOVE. Now when we are greedy,prideful,envious,sloathful we expect more and see less, bt everything u need u have been born with. People use money as a way to elevate themselves above their fellow man and thts really all its abt. We're supposed to be abundant in Spirit not worldly things,ijs.

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