Money and Faith

I had an interesting conversation with a friend that is helping me promote my new book The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. When I settled on the title for my book, I knew there would be people who loved it and people who, well, didn’t like it. Money is a sensitive topic for people, so a book about a controversial topic like building wealth to become a millionaire is naturally a bit controversial. I confess. It’s one reason why I love the title.

Let’s face, if given a choice, do we want to live in a world filled with wealthy people or a world filled with people in poverty? It seems like a pretty simple question to answer, but if it is, why is the topic of building wealth so taboo in some circles?

As I pondered that question myself, I realized something about people and wealth. A large number of people have a warped view about wealth. They believe two things about wealth. One, I’ll never be wealthy, and two, wealth and wealthy people are bad. I’m scratching my head. Both of these viewpoints on wealth are dead wrong. Let’s explore them.

I’ll never be wealthy. Actually, if you keep thinking like that, you won’t become wealthy. Anyone who thinks like this won’t. To become wealthy, you need to take certain actions.  First, you need to start learning about money. Learn how to make it. Learn what to do with it once you make it. Learn how not to waste it. Learn how to multiply it through investments, real estate, and more. Anyone can do it. It’s a repeatable process. You just need to do the process. It’s why I wrote The Millionaire Choice. To show people the process.

Wealth and wealthy people are bad. Seriously? Who taught you this? Where did the idea come from? Sure there are some real scoundrels who have lots of money. I can name quite a few, but for all the bad people with wealth, there are some really good ones. Isn’t it the same no matter what walk of life people are in? Poor people, middle class, and upper class. There are good people and bad, and it’s a wonderful thing that majority of people are good. Don’t let a few rich bad eggs ruin your view of wealth and becoming wealthy.

Money is a neutral thing no matter what amount. A small pile of money is no more or less evil than a big pile of money. Money is not “evil.” Gold is not “evil.” Many people fall prey to the common misquote of “money is the root of all evil.” The official quote is “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”, and it comes from the Bible in 1 Timothy 6:10. I totally agree with this statement. It goes hand in hand with the wise proverb “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, but we’ll save that conversation for another day. Money is not evil, and large sums of money are not evil.

It’s been said that money just makes you more of what you really are. If you’re a jerk and scoundrel with a little money, you’ll be a bigger jerk and scoundrel when you’re rich.

So why do people in certain groups get so hung up when we start talking about becoming wealthy, how to become wealthy, studying money, or aspiring to become a millionaire? Well, I believe there is a lot of confusion in these groups. More specifically, the Christian groups that I grew up in. Wealth and aspiring to build wealth is frowned upon, and sadly for those that have developed some level of wealth, life in those circles can be difficult.

But let’s explore wealth in the Bible for just a moment by taking some very prominent figures and statements made about their wealth.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Genesis 24:10
“And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.”

Let’s put this verse in perspective. Today, cars are the primary mode of transportation. In Abraham’s day, camels. Abraham’s servant took 10 camels of his masters camels. That means he had even more camels. Cars. Camels. Do you know anyone with 10 cars and more parked in the garage? Abraham was a wealthy dude. There are lots of other references to his gold, silver, sheep and other holdings.

Genesis 26: 13-14
“The man [Isaac] became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.”

Isaac was a wealthy dude and apparently, he built his wealth over time.

Genesis 30:43
As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.

Jacob was a wealthy dude. Runs in the family, but Jacob didn’t get rich off Daddy’s money. In fact, Jacob hadn’t even seen his dad in many years when the Bible says he became wealthy.

King David
David was wealthy. Extremely.

1 Chronicles 22:14
“Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.”

In perspective, that’s 3,300 tons of gold, and 33,000 tons of silver. By comparison, the United States has 6,500 tons of gold at Fort Knox. By today’s standards, David had about $137 billion in gold, and almost $15 billion in silver. Not bad for the guy after God’s own heart.

King Solomon
I love this one. It dispels all the negative wealth myths.

1 Kings 3:12-13
“Behold, I (God) have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

In this verse, it is God that decided to make Solomon rich. And everyone said, “Whaaaaat?” Seriously, this should put the discussion totally to rest. Wealth is not bad. Having wealth is not bad. It’s what you do with it and how you live your life that matters.

Don’t believe me? Well take a look at Jesus’ usage of money as he talked about servants and talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Why would Jesus use an example of rewarding someone who managed money well and multiplied it while punishing someone who mismanaged their money and punished them? It really makes you think.

So here’s some food for thought to all my friends in the Christian circles. What is wealth for? That answer is simple. Enjoy life. Help others. Serve God. Money isn’t evil. Wealth isn’t evil. In fact, an argument could be made that if you don’t build wealth, you’re probably not stewarding your life or your resources properly. How so? Well, wealth is a natural byproduct of hard work, knowledge and wisdom. If you don’t end up wealthy during your lifetime, it’s may just be because you didn’t steward your resources and life as well as you should have. Just maybe.

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tonybradshaw

Tony graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1993. He spent six years at a small business manufacturing company doing engineering and network admin work. He made the jump to a full time Internet junkie in March 2001 when he joined Dave Ramsey, noted author, radio talk show host and entrepreneur. Currently, he's serving as VP of Internet Business and Technology for daveramsey.com, mytotalmoneymakeover.com and other online initiatives for Dave Ramsey's organization.

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