What Does the Bible Say About Money?

In the eyes of God, every believer is rich and famous

What the Bible Says About Money
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In the 1980s, one of the most popular programs on American television was a weekly show called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Each week, the host visited celebrities and royalty at their luxurious mansions, fawning over their exotic cars, million-dollar jewelry, and lavish wardrobes. It was conspicuous consumption at its most nauseating, and viewers couldn't get enough of it.

But don't we all secretly envy the rich and famous? Don't we believe that if only we were rich, it would solve all our problems? Don't we long to be recognized and loved by millions of people?

What Does the Bible Say About Money?

This craving for fortune is nothing new. Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ said:

"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." (Mark 10:25 NIV)

Why is that? Jesus, who knew the human heart better than anyone ever has or ever will, understood that it's a matter of priorities. Too often, rich people make wealth their number one priority instead of God. They spend most of their time making wealth, spending it, and increasing it. In a very real sense, money becomes their idol.

God won't stand for that. He told us so in his First Commandment:

"You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3 NIV).

What Riches Can't Buy

Today, we still believe the lie that money can buy happiness. Yet hardly a week passes that we don't read about rich celebrities getting a divorce. Other high-profile millionaires get in trouble with the law and have to enter drug or alcohol rehab programs.

Despite all their money, many rich people feel empty and without meaning. Some surround themselves with a dozen hangers-on, confusing opportunists with friends. Others get pulled in by New Age beliefs and religious cults, searching in vain for something that will help them make sense of their lives.

While it's true that wealth can purchase all kinds of thrills and creature comforts, in the long run, those things amount to high-priced glitter and trash. Anything that ends up in a junkyard or landfill cannot satisfy the yearning in the human heart.

Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown

Since you have a computer and internet service, you're probably not living below the poverty line. But that doesn't mean the lure of riches and possessions never tempts you.

Our culture constantly hypes the newest cars, latest music players, fastest computers, brand-new furniture, and in fashion clothing. Wearing something that's out of style pegs you as a misfit, somebody who doesn't quite "get it." And we all want to "get it" because we long for the approval of our peers.

So we're caught somewhere in between, not poor but far from rich, and certainly not famous outside of our circle of family and friends. Perhaps we yearn for the importance that money brings. We've seen enough rich people treated with respect and admiration to want a piece of that for ourselves.

We have God, but perhaps we want more. Just like Adam and Eve, we desperately desire to be bigger shots than we are. Satan lied to them then, and he's still lying to us today.

Seeing Ourselves as We Really Are

Because of the world's false values, we seldom see ourselves as we really are. The truth is that in the eyes of God, every believer is rich and famous.

We possess the richness of a salvation that can never be taken from us. This is the treasure that's immune from moths and rust. We take it with us when we die, unlike money or fancy possessions:

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27, NIV)

We are famous and precious to our Savior, so much that he sacrificed himself so we can spend eternity with him. His love surpasses any earthly fame because it will never end.

God's heart can be heard in these words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy as he urges him to stay free from the allure of money and wealth:

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:6-11, NLT)

God calls us to stop comparing our houses, cars, clothes, and bank accounts. His word urges us to stop feeling inadequate because we don't own the outward symbols of success. We only find satifisfaction and contentment in the true riches we have in God and in our Savior:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)

When we turn away from the lure of money and wealth and turn your eyes to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, we experience our greatest fulfillment. That's where we'll finally find all the riches we've ever wanted.