Is It Wrong to Want to Make Lots of Money?
A soon-to-be-graduate asked:
I really want a career that not only glorifies God but also gives me financial security. Am I wrong?
I think the answer depends on two things:
1) her definition of financial security, and
2) her motivation for wanting financial security.
By “financially secure,” does she mean that she will have enough to cover her expenses and bless others in need? Because that’s wise. We know from God’s Word:
It is important to work hard and earn your own living so you won’t be a burden to others.
For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12).
We are to honor God with our money.
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine (Proverbs 3:9-10).
It is good to have enough money to share with others.
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need (Ephesians 4:28).
We should be prepared to provide for our close relatives if necessary. (FYI, the context of the following verse is caring for widows in your family.)
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).
So if by “financially secure,” this girl means she will have enough to cover her expenses and bless others in need, that’s wonderful!
But I don’t know her heart. She could be asking, “Is it wrong to want enough money so I can have a closet full of expensive clothes and drive a fancy convertible into the garage of my luxury home?”
Is she wanting to never have any financial needs that she might have to trust God to meet? If this is the case, God’s Word warns:
Riches are anything but secure; they are uncertain.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
Riches are deceitful and can choke out God’s Word.
“They . . . hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).
If you trust in riches, it’ll trip you up.
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf (Proverbs 11:28).
Trusting in God, Who cannot be moved, is so much more secure than trusting in riches that can be stolen or decrease in value.
There are temptations that come with both poverty and riches.
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the LORD?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God (Proverbs 30:8-9).
What a great prayer to pray! Will you pray it with me?
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me.”
So what does this mean as you search for a career? Ask yourself:
Would this amount of money allow me . . .
-- To honor God first?
-- Not to be a burden to others?
-- The freedom to share with those in need?
If so, it’s enough money.
How about you? How much money do you hope to make, and what’s your motivation?
By Paula Marsteller