Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Power to Create Wealth: A Good Thing

And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is to this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
There are many Christians, who, when the subject is wealth and riches, will sniff and say, “Money is the root of all evil,” or “You cannot serve God and mammon,” or “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.”

But actually, wealth and riches themselves are never the problem. Rather, it is our attitude toward wealth and riches that so often leads to trouble. For example, the Bible does not say that it money itself is the root of all evil, but that it is the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus did not teach that it is wrong to have money, but that it is wrong to serve money (Luke 16:13). And the thing that made it impossible for the rich, young ruler to enter into the kingdom of God is not that he had wealth and riches, but that he trusted in them. Jesus said,
Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:24-25)
So the teaching in Scripture is clear: We must never love, serve or put our trust in wealth and riches. We are to love, serve and trust in God alone.

But the power to create wealth is a good thing. That is why God gave it to us. It is a blessing, not a curse. In Deuteronomy 28, the chapter where the line between covenant blessing and covenant curse is clearly drawn, wealth and riches are found on the blessing side, where it is described in terms of full baskets and kneading bowls, blessed storehouses, plenty of goods, and increase of all kinds.

How do we develop the right attitude toward wealth and riches? We begin by setting it firmly in our hearts and minds that it is not by our own abilities that we are able to gather wealth, but that it is the Lord Himself who has given us the power to create wealth. It is His doing, not ours, and our trust must always be in Him, to love and serve Him alone.