Let’s face it. If you live in America, you are rich.
Yes, there are exceptions like those who can’t afford food or shelter, but generally speaking, if you compare yourself to others around the world, you are probably filthy rich.
Go ahead, click over to GlobalRichList.com to see for yourself.
So if you are anything like me, you were probably shocked at what you saw.
None of us feel rich, because we are surrounded by so much wealth and extravagance in this country, but maybe getting the facts can help us realize how good we have it.
American Christians are among the wealthiest believers to have ever lived!
In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul tells Timothy to give rich Christians an admonition.
“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. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV)
So let’s take a look at 10 things God wants rich Christians to do.
1. Don’t Be Haughty
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty,”
Haughtiness is defined by Merriam Webster as blatantly and disdainfully proud. It essentially points to a stereotypical rich snob, who feels they have more self worth than others because they have more net worth than others.
Paul says don’t be proud because you have cash!
2. Don’t Put Your Hope in Money
“nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches,”
It’s funny how we feel more comfortable and at ease when our bank account is full, and much less comfortable when our bank account is empty.
Those are natural feelings, but where do they come from? Many times it’s because money is our idol and we put our hope and trust in our cash instead of the Sovereign Creator of all things.
3. Put Your Trust in God
“but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
God is the One who promises to take care of His children. Everything we have ever earned, received, or worked for is a direct gift from Him.
He is the One we look to for our hope, faith, and trust – not wealth.
4. Enjoy Your Money
“who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
God created us to glorify and worship Him by enjoying Him forever. We enjoy Him by enjoying the things He has given us.
If you eat a great, perfectly seasoned and grilled steak, and you thank Him for giving you the taste buds to enjoy the flavors – that is worship!
God gives us money to enjoy as well. Use it to glorify Him by enjoying what He’s given you, and always remember Him as the source!
5. Do Good
“They are to do good…”
Use your money for good things, like helping others and giving to the poor. Don’t’ just spend lavishly on yourself.
6. Be Wealthy With Good Works
“…to be rich in good works,”
Instead of constantly trying to dream of ways to build wealth with your business or work, dream about how to build wealth in terms of your good works towards others.
7. Be Generous
Generosity should be the mark of every Christian, especially rich Christians. After all, Christ gave up all the riches of heaven to become poor so that we (through his life, death, and resurrection) might become eternally rich!
8. Be Ready to Share
“…and ready to share,”
You become ready to share by getting rid of generosity killers like debt, greed, pride and busyness!
9. Store Up Treasure in Heaven
“thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future,”
What does it mean to store up treasure in heaven? Back in those days, Jews would’ve understood treasure in heaven to mean deeds of mercy and deeds of kindness to those in need.
We build great wealth in heaven by eagerly helping the poor, needy, and distressed of this world.
10. Hold Firmly to True Life
“take hold of that which is truly life.”
True and lasting life is an eternity spent with your heavenly Father who loves you and sent His Son to die for you.
Jesus lived the perfect life that you and I never could to make atonement for sins we have committed.
He died a gruesome and horrendous death on a cross – one that you and I deserved to die. And yet, He laid his life down willingly. For the joy that was set before Him, he endured the beatings. He scorned the shame of a Roman cross – for you. He went to that hill to die and all the while, He whispered that He loves you.
That is what we cling to, not our wealth. Not our money-making plans, or our business ventures. Those things aren’t wrong, but they aren’t true life! Look to Him. Look to Jesus – He is the source of True Life!
These verses do seem to have a common theme. Put your hope in God and not money, and use the money in the way he intends us to – by giving, sharing and caring for others. The one that I’m not sure I had read before is the one about enjoying what he has given us. Very interesting.
Jason @ Redeeming Riches says
Thanks for stoppin’ in Pete. John Piper introduced me to the whole concept of existing to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever. Everything He has given us (including our money) are gifts to be used to worship Him more (as long as we remember He is the source!).
Jason @ Redeeming Riches says
Melissa, I’m so glad you shared your comment! Yes, we’ve all been blessed. Some certainly more than others for sure. But it’s what we do with what God has given us that proves where our trust and our hope lies. Thanks again!! Merry Christmas!
I like this article because it points out something that a lot of people forget in this country: even the poor among us are incredibly rich compared to a lot of people around the world. It’s good for us to remember that wealth is relative and we need to learn to be thankful for and content with what we have! This doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to increase our wealth, we just need to be content with what we have at this time. Good post!
Maryanne @ www.minimumwageprosperity.org says
Oh Yeah!! Thank you for these awesome truths!!! I will share this with my blog readers!
Derrik Hubbard, CFP says
Very helpful article and great reminder. I appreciate how you’ve grounded each of your points in biblical principles.
This is not only for American Christians but for everybody, Christian or not.
Best to you and your family
Moses Otieno says
Thanks for these edifying message in for the Church and the nation that follows the commandments of the Lord God who created the whole world.
Great verse and great thoughts! Especially like #8 calling debt, greed, pride and busyness, “generosity killers”. Such truth!!
I’ve been a Christian all of my life. This is the most..worthless! Article..maybe I’ve ever seen in my life on the subject.
Sorry you thought that Charlotte – how would you improve it?
Mr Home Maker says
OK so this changes the paradigm of frugality. So many folk are going frugal for frugality sake or to amass more money as an end in itself. Frugality as a tool to save money for the things that are important is the ‘shift’ for me.
Mark Rist says
Thank God for you, Bob, that you are openly Christian and in the IM business. Those of us who are trying to make a living online need you and trust you because Christ rules your life. Since entering the business of IM, I have never seen so many New Agers in my life. I feel as though I’ve entered a parallel universe. It is your Christian witness that makes me want to participate in every program you offer.
Thanks Mark, that means a lot!
Pam Harris says
Thank you for this article. It’s good to be reminded of these beautiful truths, especially today when I woke up worrying about everything we need to do to keep up on our finances. Some days it’s a big struggle. I really appreciate the effort you take to put these together and do so much good in the world! Keep it coming!
On a practical note regarding the generous or ready to share point, why not also make use of the exchange rate of currency? You could literally support entire families with a few dollars at a time, depending on the country.
Stephanie Brown says
If I like to play bingo for fun not to gain more money I will this mis please God I do not play to help either Bill’s etc just to get out I enjoy playing bingo but I fo not want to fo nothing against God. I pay my tithes offerings and I show seeds I do not play to gain more money. But I do it for fun. I do work for my money I do not depend on bingo, because i believe God takes care of me