Wealthy and Christian?

By: Katherine Abraham

By: Katherine Abraham

Today’s podcast focuses mainly on a question that I get asked a lot often, is money good or bad to you as a Christian? Well, to be honest it’s not a black or white sort of question, it has a far deeper perspective associated with it. It is an asset that generally turns into liability. In the current contemporary world that we are part of, a man’s worth is decided by how wealthy or rich in terms of materialistic possessions. Is this definition okayed by Christianity too? Let’s dive deeper into it.

                    Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out, be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

                  As a Christian is it right to be wanting to be rich, having a beautiful house for yourself, desiring luxurious cars? We grew up listening to the stories of Christ and how He was not very rich in fact He barely had money throughout his life, yet He had all the basic amenities needed. There was a time in his life where He had no roof over his head, forcing him to wander places. Money did not really matter to Him. So, is money important as a Christian? In its own way, yes, we all need it to get our basic requirements fulfilled, to pay our rents, bills, there is absolutely nothing wrong about earning it ethically. But the problem starts when we as Christians start making money as a priority, making money as the crux of our day-to-day life instead of God and the qualities such as care, love, compassion for ourselves and the people around. Everything in limit is the key to being abundantly happy. Anything and everything that tempts you to an extent of becoming greedy and losing yourself not only does it parts you away from God but also leads you to a journey of loneliness. It messes your moral compass and makes you lose the ability of differentiating between what is bare minimal and what is too much. Undoubtedly, money will open a lot of doors of happiness, it will provide for a lot of things, but is it the only way to happiness? Well, the blind pursuit of money for that matter any materialistic thing is ought to ruin your inner sense of peace. Let us say money gets you a good car, which is a good thing but then imagine after few years it gets old and you feel less because of not having the updated version of it as your neighbors or friends, you get influenced by your comparisons and decide to get a car which is honestly out of your budget just to get equal or rather superior to them, you might definitely feel proud about it for a few days but what happens when this specific incident occurs again? This vicious cycle is bound to repeat itself because it is a never-ending search for your voids. 

               Our needs and wants are always growing and they will never cease to grow. As Christians, our lookout and perception towards money has to be different than the rest of the globe. For us, beyond any questions, it is inevitable but it is nothing but a means to make ends meet and not the end itself. One of the prominent and dominant factors that influences people especially in a country like ours while looking for their partners is how rich he or she is? How humongous their house is? How many cars and bungalows do they own? Isn’t it the reality?  An incident back from my college days is that as young girls I remember we used to discuss about our future wedding plans and our ideal husband’s qualities, a friend of mine very categorically said I will marry the richest man around and we all instantly laughed. But very few realized the depth of what she was saying, she did not come from a very well to do family which kept her deprived of a lot of things that she might have desired. So maybe she thought that those riches would bring her happiness that she deserved but here is the real catch would she be able to live in peace with all those riches but without the family time and love that she used to receive earlier? How long would those riches last? Eternal life? The answer is something we all know, none of us can carry any of our riches or wealth to our path to heaven or even hell for that matter. Then why go mad after it? There are so many testimonies available on the internet where the world’s richest persons confront their depressions, anxiety, panic attacks despite having everything available at the tip of their finger, these confrontations explain to us that God’s love can never be replaced by a note. Is money worth making your ultimate destination? Ask yourself? I have friends and colleagues who work 18 to 20 hours a day just to get their particular target of the desired amount done at any cost. They are indeed losing out on a lot of fun that can be offered by sitting peacefully for an hour in a garden, maybe by taking that day off to rejuvenate, to spend some quality time with their family members especially those in the evening of their lives.  

           We come across so many articles in the newspaper where we read about young children killing their very own siblings or even their parents for the sake of money, property. There are so many cases of honor killing across the globe including some of the famous celebrities that we grew up admiring. When you look around, you will find so many neighbors of yours who will tell you how their houses split in just a minute all because of money. They forgot all the years they spent together as a one complete family. Our desires are not the cause but over-indulgence of it is the prime cause.

         Another beautiful incident I have for you people, is of my own. Recently I was not keeping well and I was suggested some imperative tests to get clarity over my health. unfortunately I didn’t have enough money for it. I was running short of it. I tried to manage but failed. And then a few days later a friend of mine asked for some money to borrow as she urgently needed it. I gave it a thought and said yes because my work was for sure not going to get done anytime soon. I gave her the money. Now here’s the learning: not only did God keep me absolutely fine till I received the amount back but also, I completely forgot about the tests that I needed. God actually checks our heart and the purity of our intentions. There is no point that money can take the center stage of a Christians life. That is the core reason we all focus on spiritual wealth instead of just the worldly financial wealth. Spiritual abundance is always superior to any sort of worldly abundance including financial. Make sure you spend money for a good cause which benefits you and people around you so that once you spend it you don’t have to brood and overthink about how it would have been far better to invest it somewhere else, I promise you will have no regrets and as Christians we have always been taught to give because in order to receive one must give. Moreover, our faith stresses to be there for not only our own folks but also the underprivileged. Care, love and compassion are the driving forces of our faith which give us the strong sense of empathy that we all possess. 

          I have mentioned about my mother’s health a lot of times in my podcasts and how things become worse when family and friends we expected to stand firm by us completely withdrew and showed their true colors. We were shell shocked by the responses we got but I always knew that the Lord and my faith in Him will take care of it. The medical treatments are obviously expensive and I was completely helpless of how I figured it out. But my faith kept me going and one wouldn’t believe I got the entire wholesome amount that was necessary in just a mere period of four days, it till date gives me goosebumps. As believers, we all believe in miracles. It gave me an understanding of how money is so overhyped. A lot of people question me about how I always manage to stay blissful despite all these issues in my life? There is no one singular human being on earth who does not face difficulties, it is we who gets to decide how much attention we want to give it because whatever you give your attention to, expands. We live in a world where becoming wealthy in terms of those lands and sharing bonds is so crucial that people are losing the vision they once had for their life, they are going to the extent of humiliating people who do not fit in their status. 

           You don’t have to make sure that you give only when you have abundantly or in a huge quantity, even a small amount of whatever little you own could bring a smile on a person’s face, it could give him a second chance to live, a bright ray of hope which definitely he will pass on to somebody in need tomorrow. That is the reason we have tithe; we are taught to contribute 1/10th of our monthly income to God. He does not need our money but there are places where yet our faith has not blossomed, people don’t have churches to worship. Certain churches need money for renewal. It’s a beautiful way of giving back whatever we can to Him who has made sure we have peaceful lives and the best part is the satisfaction it gives you as a Christian is something worth celebrating. Our tithe is indeed very important for our faith. Recently, a gentleman in one of my WhatsApp group commented that we should stop giving tithe as it is a wastage and an away of looting people, they are eating our money and I said who is eating your money, one must name that specific person otherwise it’s a blot on the innocents too which obviously they don’t deserve. One must be very careful and mindful of what they speak especially as the consequences can be affecting a lot of other Christians.  

           “Give and get,” has a linearly proportional relationship, whatever you give in whatever amount is ought to come back to you. They aptly say what goes around, comes around so, if you help somebody in any way let’s say you lend money to someone for some good reason, mark my words you will never be left abandoned financially. As Christians, if we choose to make any materialistic object the centre point of our lives, certainly, we are going to fall flat on our faces because God has promised us, He will take care of all our needs and never make us feel left behind. Hence, it is our moral responsibility to give God that undivided and unshakable faith that He deserves and ensure that we are not failing in giving Him, His due. 

“God loveth a cheerful giver!”

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