GOD LOVES THE RICH!
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV)
The Church often implies, perhaps unintentionally, that God despises rich people and that success is something Christians don’t handle very well. As part of the Church, we should correct this type of teaching.
There are dangers that result from the improper handling of wealth. Jesus did not approve of the rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and refused to share with Lazarus (see Luke 16:19-31). Paul admonished wealthy Christians not to put their hope in riches but to be generous and ready to share (see 1 Timothy 6:17-19). James rebuked greedy rich people who sat on their wealth while their workers’ wages went unpaid (see James 5:1-6). But these cases do not condemn rich people – they simply point out that their wealth has been mishandled.
So how does God feel about the rich?
The Bible unequivocally declares, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV) The two words “world” and “whoever” are inclusive. God loves everybody and does not discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, or social status.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the social divide between the rich and the poor, the Church often exhibits a negative bias toward the rich. This is clearly seen in missionary priorities. The church that sends missionaries to a tiny group in the Dominican Republic will rarely consider sending missionaries to the thousands of “lost souls” living in Monaco, Sweden, or even Beverly Hills. This has resulted in a faulty set of priorities, because people in wealthy nations are just as lost as those living in the Third World.
As “missionaries” in the workplace, we need to be more like Jesus. We need to be a friend to everyone, wealthy and destitute alike. It’s important that we keep an open mind – we shouldn’t discriminate! We need to be ready to share Christ’s love with anyone who needs us!
(photo credit – istockphoto.com)
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!
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