Faith and Finances

Can I Be Wealthy and Be a Follower of Jesus

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This is going to be an honest and transparent post. I TRY to be somewhat anonymous with this blog. But I also feel there are times where it’s important to be vulnerable.

Jesus talks often about the warnings and dangers of being rich. Money is amoral. It’s neither good nor bad. But as scripture warns us, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.

In Mark 10, Jesus comes across a Rich Young Ruler. He asked what he must do to attain eternal life, Jesus responds by telling him to follow the commandments. The ruler responds saying that he’s done that from his youth. Jesus then said, “you lack one thing. Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor.”

As we know, the rich young ruler went away sad because he had a lot of possessions. But then Jesus goes into this interesting dialogue:

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.

I read those words and I’m somewhat haunted. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.

Initially I read that and several other passages and assume that I should do everything possible to avoid being accused of being rich. But I’m reminded of the third world countries that I’ve been to and the fact that even at my poorest, I’m richer then most of the world. I’m reminded as well that rich and poor is somewhat subjective to the context. Rich and poor in an american city have not only a financial gap but also an opportunity gap. Relationship gaps. Justice gaps.

It’s difficult for a rich person to get to heaven because of what the riches immediately bring. They bring a sense of security and comfort. They bring a safety net. They bring power. They lift people into positions that the gospel calls us to be willing to give up.

And meanwhile, following Jesus means being willing to give it all up. And this is the tough one. How many wealthy people would be willing to give up their wealth to be with him?

Wealth most of the time is built. The question we have to ask is, does our wealth replace God?

So now I want to turn this into a question for anyone who wants to comment, if you are wealthy, how do you follow Jesus and not allow your wealth to become an idol?

Please consider answering. I’m seeking answers.

Thank you and have a great day!

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