What Is the Biblical View of Wealth?


A biblical view of wealth involves an eternal perspective.

I am persuaded that the Bible teaches a form of Christian capitalism—in other words, responsibility associated with wealth. It does not promote the possession of money for the sake of money, but instead encourages us to use money for the sake of the kingdom. In short, a biblical view of wealth involves an eternal perspective.

First, it is crucial to realize that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). God is the Landlord; we are just tenants. We did not arrive with anything, and we will not take anything with us when we leave. Just remembering this fact of life will save us from a world of hurt.

Furthermore, poverty does not equal piety; nor do riches equal righteousness. God prospers some, and he puts others in more humble circumstances. If there were a one-to-one ratio between godliness and wealth, the godliest people in the world would be the wealthiest. A quick check of the Forbes 500 will quickly dash such an illusion.

Finally, it is important to view wealth with eternity in mind. In other words, lead your life here below as a responsible steward—whether you have a little or a lot—so that one day, at the judgment, God himself will richly reward you (Matthew 25:21). It is your bank statement in heaven that counts (Matthew 6:19–21); if you fix your hope on the one you have down here, you are bankrupt no matter how many digits you count next to your name.

Adapted from Christianity in Crisis

For further study, see John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, 1986), chapter 7. Also see Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis(Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1993), Part 5.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money, 
(Matthew 6:24)
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