One of the most misunderstood subjects in the world is wealth and money. When we think of money and wealth, some obvious thoughts and statements come to mind – for example, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Another statement is, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom.” On the surface, these statements seem to indicate that it is almost impossible to be good if you are rich. Perhaps this is the reason that many people have associated being poor with being holy or good. Some religious sects swear to a vow of poverty. Is money really bad? And does having money lead to bad outcomes? To answer these questions, we need a clear understanding of the purpose of money and wealth. If you understand the purpose of a thing, then it is easier to figure out best use.
There is a scripture, 3 John 2, that reads, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” So, God in His Word through the apostle tells us, above all things, He wants us to prosper and be in good health just as or in proportion to our soul prospering. This is a clear indication of what God desires for us. He wants us to have, but He wants it to happen in the right context. He desires us to prosper and be in good health, proportionate to our soul prospering. This is important because if your soul is prospering, you will be kind, compassionate, giving and not selfish and abusive.
I believe when you are a good person and your soul is right, you deserve it. God wants you to prosper and there is a specific reason He wants you to prosper. There is a purpose behind wealth and money. Before we get to the answer, I believe there is something we should know about money and resources on Earth. The Earth, and most things in it, were designed to be self-sustaining. Trees bear fruit that have seeds that can create more trees which will produce fruit and give more seeds that produce trees with fruit. Everything for the Earth is already in the earth. Everything to sustain the Earth is already in the earth. God does not drop things from the sky, when we need something; it simply moves from one location on Earth to another to get to us.
When we look at Jesus’ actions when he needed money for taxes, he did not say let’s pray and ask the Father to send from Heaven. What he did was tell the disciples to get it from the mouth of a fish. It was already in the earth and it just needed to change location, so their taxes could be paid. Everything you need is here (near) and when it gets to you, you need to keep and increase it using wisdom.
Proverbs 16:16 reads, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” So, what is the purpose of wealth?
The purpose of wealth is summed up in this statement in Deuteronomy 8:18: “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
The purpose of wealth is to establish God’s covenant or His kingdom on Earth because when His kingdom is established in an environment – everything works and people are happy. We know that Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come…”, which means it did not exist and it would be beneficial if it did exist in the Earth. The verse says He gives us power (ability) to get wealth because it should be used to establish His covenant. His covenant includes: love God, love your neighbor as yourself; give to those people in need; take care of widows; be generous and kind. These virtues of the kingdom are beneficial to all. And when people who share these values have wealth, everyone benefits.
When people understand the purpose of wealth, they ensure that their own needs are met and, after their needs are met, they look for others to help. People who don’t understand the purpose of wealth tend to consume extravagantly on themselves and to hoard and hide money where it does not reach those in need. We all need money to survive and that is why most of us go to work every day. We need to have our basic needs met. God wants us to have our needs met but He also wants us to understand that after our needs are met, there are some priorities that He established.
• Meet your needs (and reasonable desires).
• Finance the truth, because if the lie is financed, then the world is captured and enslaved by philosophies and behavior that are against God, and result in violence, crime and corruption.
• Establish the kingdom: this means to establish a pattern of behavior that is in line with what is good and right, following the example of Jesus who came to show us how to live.
My hope is that we would all understand the purpose of money and wealth and live accordingly.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.