Christianity and Wealth: Can you have both at the same time?

Essay by lucas_bHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2005

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If Christians "love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength" (Matt. 22:37), then they cannot love money at the same time. This is the love of ultimate priority and total attachment and should not allow for a divided mind because "no man can serve two masters; he will love the one and hate the other " (Matt. 6:24). Attachment to Jesus Christ must include a detachment from money and personal values. The question is always whether you can be detached without actually being stripped of your assets. The answer is no. The rich man was advised to "sell all his possessions and give them to the poor" (Matt. 19:21). His inability to make such a divestiture revealed his continuing attachment to his property. Sapphira and Annanias were also not detached from their belongings when they conspired to hold back a portion while saying they sold everything, in Acts 5 [Kavanaugh].

Detachment from personal riches is the natural partner of attachment to Jesus Christ, and requires Christians to think about Heaven in order to constantly recognize that physical possessions are tangible and really have no infinite power. You should not have wealth if you want to be a dedicated Christian.

However, then wealthy Christians can say that money is a tangible resource entrusted to us by God, and we have to be his stewards. Rich Christians walk a tightrope that requires good balance, to maintain the priority of spiritual 'being' over physical 'having'. The energy it takes to preserve assets and properties often robs wealthy Christians of their freedom in Christ to do all that God wants to do through them [Carder].

Christians should realize having simple lifestyles can free us from the dangers of being owned by material possessions. It can also free us for a deeper...



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