Riches can take our minds off the things of God
Published 8:26 am Thursday, January 6, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Why is it wrong for Christians to work for riches? — M.H.
Dear M.H.: The Bible does not condemn wealth, but Jesus did speak of the deceitfulness of riches. Those who have great wealth may tend to feel independent, to rely on and trust in their riches rather than in God, it can be the stumbling block in surrendering their lives to Christ. This is the story of the rich young ruler (see Luke 18:18-23). This is why Jesus said that it is difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (see Luke 18:24-25). He knows the motives, thoughts, and intents of the heart.
Riches can take our minds off the things of God, and God Himself. What we think of money generally speaks of how we think about God. The Bible warns that money cannot buy happiness, true pleasure, peace of mind; it certainly cannot buy our way into the kingdom of God.
Today we are putting our hopes in materialism, in technological progress, and in freedom from moral absolutes. They have all failed because they’ve been powerless to change the human heart. Many people teach that prosperity and a high standard of living are the highest goals attainable. The Bible, however, teaches that materialism apart from God will destroy a nation as well as an individual.
There is nothing wrong with people possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess people. God desires that we store up riches in Heaven; storing up what counts most for eternity. It is God who owns everything, and we are but stewards of His property during the brief time we have on Earth. For those who experience wealth in this life, may they use it to honor and glorify God who owns even “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)