The Problem with Wealth – Jeremy Austill
The Problem with Wealth

The subject of money is a touchy one, especially in church. Let me go on record that I have absolutely no problem or hesitance talking about money and the life of a believer. The reason is simple. The vast majority of society, Christians included, expend a very large percentage of their week in some effort to acquire money. Another large percentage is spent using money. To avoid the topic in the church is malpractice. Does it make people uncomfortable? Sure. But the Gospel, applied to one’s life, is frequently uncomfortable. It challenges our greed, our fear, our lack of trust, our self-sufficiency and a million other illegitimate attributes. 

When it comes to wealth and the Christian, there are varying schools of thought. Some feel financial prosperity is a God-given right. Others believe God is best honored by minimalism. I recently wrote a blog about wealthy ministers that you can read here… (Mansions and Jets)

When it comes to wealth and my journey with Jesus, I tend to stand somewhere in the middle. Specifically, there is a difference between receiving wealth and pursuing wealth. A couple of over-arching ideas in scripture are that generosity is the way of God, and adherence to God’s ways, his commands, his concepts and precepts, leads to blessing…blessing in a variety of forms, not just monetary.

For the believer, wealth is an inferior pursuit. Jesus is our pursuit. Our end goal, the object of our pursuit, tends to dictate the process. The pursuit of wealth has a way of leading our heart into some moments, some ways, that are incongruent with Jesus. If wealth is the goal, it is inevitable at some point that your goal and Jesus will contradict one another. When our pursuit is wealth we inadvertently position ourselves to frequently experience temptation…to frequently be at the crossroads of choosing the Jesus way or wealth way. We do this at the expense of a pure heart, devotion to the person of Jesus and confused motivations.

Wealth is not a sin issue. The pursuit of wealth creates sin issues.

On the other hand, when we live to honor the Lord. When we obey his commands. When we operate in sync with His nature. When we seek wisdom…when we do things His way. When we pursue Jesus…work hard because of Jesus…because it’s all worship…live with integrity…contend for character…honor others…aren’t frivolous…give generously…apply biblical principles…tithe…

We position ourselves to receive wealth.

Wealth is not to be seized, but received. To seize wealth is to assert self and strive for possession. To receive is the acknowledgement that it comes from someone else…we have because we have been given.

What are some differences between those positioned to receive wealth and those pursuing wealth?

Those who receive wealth are more focused on the work. Those who pursue wealth are more focused on the paycheck.

Those who receive wealth think more in terms of a Person. Those who pursue wealth think more in terms of possessions. 

Those who receive wealth think more in terms of process. Those who pursue wealth think more in terms of bottom lines. 

Those who receive wealth think more in terms of what you give. Those who pursue wealth think more in terms of what you get. 

Spend your life focused on integrity, character, worship, humility, wisdom, diligence and the all-encompassing obedience. If you do that, you will never have to chase wealth. It will find its way to you. 

**Please understand this brief blog is not a comprehensive statement on all my thoughts about wealth and faith. Also, context matters. Wealth looks different in every nation…wealth looks different from state to state and town to town. Wealth looks different from one family to the next…one generation in a family to the next. Thjs blog is more about perspective and posture than an exhaustive dissertation.

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