"Does God Want You to be Rich?"

"Does God Want You to be Rich?"
By Paul Dion, STL

Most of us think that it would be a lot better to be rich than poor. We would much prefer to be healthy than ill. We would much prefer to have high-achieving children than "street corner slugs."

We are all familiar with some of the heroes of the Bible who thought that they were in high favor with God because they had 1,000 sheep, 500 cattle, 100 hectares of active and healthy vineyard and at least 350 camels. Is that really the world in which we live today?

A quick look at the Beatitudes reveal how Jesus exulted the poor. And the Bible is filled with references to poor people finding it easier to make it to heaven.


Are you sure?

Tell us what you feel about this simple but deep-rooted question. Share it with us. If you feel too shy to post your name, you can sign it Anonymous.

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  1. God has given us all gifts. How we use these gifts is in our control. If we sit on our giftedness and never share them with anyone we will be poor in spirit and or material wealth. It is not a sin to be wealthy. How you become wealthy may be sinful if you do not practice ethics and or christian morals.

  2. Anonymous10:29 PM

    God wants faithful stewards of his infinite resources. He wants us to have an everlasting life with Him. He wants all to live a life of abundance to become His channels of blessings

  3. Dear Debbie and Anonymous, so you do agree that God wants us to be rich?

  4. Anonymous12:15 PM

    God has made me rich beyond my wildest drunken dreams. I have the grace to want what I have and to be grateful for the having of it. I know that 90% of americans believe that if they made thirty percent more money all their financial problems would be solved. I believe that as long as I think money is the solution it will remain the problem. This is not to say that I don't indulge in "winning the lottery" fantasies or that I don't have ideas from time to time of how to spend lucre I'll never have. I do and I enjoy them. That fantasy is all prize I expect when I buy (or even think of buying) a ticket. I think material wealth is immaterial to God. What He desires is that we "love mercy, do justice and walk humbly" with Him. At least that's what He says in one place (Micah or Amos). God can't be completely opposed to the amassing of goods or the accumulation of wealth because He keeps telling us to share generously and to "sell what you have and give to the poor" so His reservations must be concerned with how we use the goods we acquire. The young man went away sad because he was very
    rich - not because he owned things but because they owned him. I am
    defined by my relationships with persons, divine and human not by my conections.

    "Man in his prosperity becomes one with the beasts of the field"

  5. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Does God want us to be rich? Yes! Rich in faith, trust, and love. As Jesus has told us, " is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    Through our discussions so far, we are all aware of our continual need for faith, trust, and love, towards our soul's arrival safely home. It is however, a personal struggle for each of us to follow the course we hold deep in our heart, amidst the earthly riches forever calling to us in our physical lives.

    We may shed tears, when our time comes, or that of a friend or loved one, but they should be, tears of joy, not of sorrow. For the riches of heaven can only be described as love, and what greater reason for joyful tears, than to know, that you, or a friend, or a loved one, or even a stranger to us, has successfully completed their journey, and arrived safely home with all the riches they'll ever need.

    When we are born, we hold within our heart three keys to unlock the riches of heaven. If we will look within our heart, we will find them, faith, trust, and love.

  6. Anonymous12:17 PM

    I believe God does want us to be rich. RICH in love, compassion, and charity for each other. I'm sure God is pleased when we are successful with our life's plans, but I am so sure that He expects us to share our "time, talents, and wealth (such as it is), with our parish, and our fellow man.

    I don't claim to be "virtuous", but I do know that I find much joy in giving of my time and talent, and now that I am also able to participate financially as well, I'm tickled pink. I've never been in that position before. I'm just trying to be grateful for all I have and for having survived so many problems in my past & present, Thanks to God!!!!

  7. Anonymous12:19 PM

    God wants us to have life abundantly but I don’t think he means it only materially. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given in addition to(paraphrasing). In my own life, the more I give of myself to others, materially, emotionally and spiritually the more God has blessed me with all that I need materially. I say NEED, not want. I have stopped buying the occasional Lotto ticket because if I truly believe God will provide, that means riches too. Besides I have come to realize how very little I need and being greedy anymore for the ‘American dream’ was only that, a dream. In striving for that, maybe not consciously, I lost my 3 children to the world. They seek the material first then, believing they are good, compared to others, they don’t feel the need for God being an active part of their lives. Abundant life to me is joy in the Lord, following his Son, Jesus example and service to others in need whenever, however it comes about. I was reflecting yesterday on how at the end of the book of Job, God gives him even more materially than he had before he allowed all the misfortunes to come upon him, knowing that Job was righteous and would not curse God. Asking for death, yes, (who wouldn’t?) but curse God, never. I like Job, he is a great example when I am having a pity party…

  8. Paul Dion, STL12:23 PM


    By Paul Dion, STL

    Hey, talk about a gold mine of spirituality. One of the things that made me happy is that all of you who reacted to the question, reacted in the sense of the Bible, both Hebrew and Christian sections. None of you voted for abject poverty. Good!

    All of you mentioned (in one way or the other) that it is not so much how much you have as what you do with it. I put them in the order that I did because the first one and the last one had the same powerful lesson put forth in different words. Not knowing how to manage material wealth quickly devolves into "being owned by the wealth". Being owned by the wealth carries a person down the road of belief that he/she must be good because these are "good times". That is the way away from God.

    All of you dwelled stressfully on the internal riches that we have. Health, sanity, people who love us, people we love, grace of God and the ability to cooperate with it, comfort in the belief the we have in God, comfort with the simple but warm dwelling that we have and the ability to make the payments, comfortable with the ability to be of some small help when we recognize a fellow human who needs it, comfortable to understand truth that carries us into areas of life that are a little deeper than the ambient temperature and finally comfort with the gift of being able to make decisions for the moral and the ethical more often than the other way around.

    None of you mentioned that if God wanted you to be rich, He would see to it that it would happen, no matter what. Thank you for that. With all the work that He has to keep us afloat, we all seem to be sure that He expects us to try to match His effort to keep the universe good. (Check out the word "good" in Genesis 1)

    I'm so glad that no one seems to believe that God gives it away. I'm now going to give you two points of view why humans have to work.

    One stems from the punishment that God meted out to Adam and Eve as He banished them from the Garden: "By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground from which you were taken; for you are dirt and to dirt you shall return." (Gen. 19)

    The other is more positive and has taken some centuries before working its way into our ethic. It is still not the majority spiritual practice or faith element, but it is a theologically and ecclesiatically valid point of view. So, strap yourselves in.

    "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.' God created man in His image; in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them. " (Gen. 1; 26 - 27...and read all the way down to the end of the chapter)

    Being created in the image and the likeness of God makes us pro-creators. We are collaborators in the management of the universe. That, as you all know, takes a lot of work. It's work that we can all be proud of. In fact I dare say, that if you want to go to heaven, you had better have a full project portfolio to take with you.

    Does God want us to be rich? You're darn tootin' right that He does. He made that clear right from the first chapter of His communiqué to the world. He promoted us higher than the angels, His high-class gophers. We are His High-class Managers. Now if that isn't an encouragement to be rich, what is?

    Oh, before you go dancing off the deep end in drunken glee, I have to tell you something. The job description includes stuff like, "Love one another like I have loved you"; "I don't ask for your sacrifice of animals, I look for you to sacrifice your heart to me"; "Don't you dare lose one single sheep of mine"; "When I tell you to travel, you'd better have a valid passport"; "Once you have your hand on the plow, you can't look back"; "Your mother and brothers are these to whom I am sending you"; "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoners."

    That's not all. But if you want the full picture let me refer you to the 70 plus writings in His Book. You all got it right. He wants us to be rich, he expects us to be rich. When we come to undertanding His "want" and His "rich" we will never have to cry at one another's funeral when He allows us to punch out.

  9. Anonymous9:16 AM

    I don't think that God cares how much money you have, I believe it is whether you put that money above God or not. In other words if the riches you have start becoming Gods in themshelves and you worship them that is where the trouble is. There are lots of rich people who share their wealth with those less fortunate. I wish I had the wealth to be able to spread it around to those in need. I spread what I can, but I spread Love and this has a never ending supply.

  10. Anonymous9:17 AM

    I asked the same question of a Baptist friend of mine. Go ask Jimmy Swaggert to sell his 2.5 Million dollar estate in Baton Rouge (that was a really expensive estate in Louisiana at the time)...and give it back to the flock he took it from...she cried. I explained to her how modest our Parrish Priests live.
    I am sure the 10% rule can be applied to everyone. If the money was made (as it tends to be) with a measure of impropriety, in that case…greed is not good.

  11. Anonymous9:18 AM

    I think the question really should be, how attached am I towards becoming rich? It def. seems, the more you have the more you have to fight against temptations towards excessive comfort. The more you have, the more you worry about people stealing from you or dinging your car, etc.
    One thing is for sure, the more we have the more responsibility we have. Blessed are the poor in spirit....
    Can you be rich and still go to Heaven? I would say YES. But it would be tougher as we may be proned to be more attached to the created world.

  12. Victor12:51 PM

    I think a more precise way of phrasing this question is: "What is the right order of loves (or emotional attachments), that will help bring us closer to the Beatific Vision?"

    Material wealth can be a huge distraction from the cultivation of an interior life oriented towards the Divine, but so can poverty, unless poverty (simplicity) is chosen specifically as an external practice to eliminate such distractions.

  13. Anonymous4:18 PM

    We don't know if the rich man came back after selling all he had. The real question is after asking Jesus what he needed to do and he had done all that since his youth - he asked what else could he do to be perfect instead of just walking away satisfied. Would we have the guts to ask that question?

  14. Scott2:47 PM

    And yet Paul was an entrepreneur when he began making tents to assist in the cost of the ministry. Yet Jesus also said it was easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. I struggle with the contradiction because what father wouldn't give to his son/daughter what they needed to be prosperous. So does it come down to our value system? Maybe our priorities need to be reviewed. Does being rich give us a comfort zone that steers us away from keeping our eye on heaven? Maybe that is where it's at. The more comfortable we are in our lives the less we push to move out of that comfort zone to expand ourselves. So this brings to light that maybe we can be rich but have to always stay out of that comfort zone as we look for new ways to use what God has given to us to further his kingdoms goals. Those new ways inspire creativity, passion and after all we were created in his likeness and if you look around you he is very creative. So you would use what he has given you as far a riches are concerned to be more like him. What a way to bring glory to God above! So God I believe wants you to have priorities that are in alignment with the riches he has provided you. I hope this encourages further discussion. Thanks Wally for asking.

  15. Anonymous1:20 AM


  16. Anonymous1:21 AM


  17. Anonymous1:22 AM


    1. I feels better than anything else I know. It is even better when you can do in secret for someone you know prays and loves God. When you see that person praising God for goodness in their life...

  18. "Carpe...":
    It is for all these reasons that Jesus made the point that it is more difficult for a rich person to get to heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. There is an answer to your final question, but it takes more room than is available here. Stay tuned. will discuss it soon.

  19. Well, I intend to become wealthy beyond my wildest dreams, and I know that without God, I will not prosper. God gives wealth and adds no sorrow with it.

  20. Anonymous7:42 AM

    One way or another YES! We are the only ones putting a limit on God's generosity. His Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Material or spiritual wealth is wealth none the less.

    Now does God want me to be materially rich? Well I think the answer would be subjective, in the sense that if I compare what I presently have with what Bill Gates have then you and I know the answer. But if some homeless guy compares himself to me (materially speaking) then I am rich. Forget about what society says, especially the IRS. :)

    On the other hand is the question. ~ Does God want me to be spiritually rich? Well definitely yes - we are all spiritually rich, that's why we asked this "Burning Question" with God in the center of it. The atheist? Well, I think that they are "philosophically" in a bliss, they are content in not believing, and where there is contentment there logically follows wealth.In the end, God's generosity and mercy may yet save them (atheist). God only knows. All glory to HIM!!! :)