As you read this I realize you might be in a tight financial situation. If this is the case, to you the answer to "Why Accumulate Wealth" is simply a matter of survival from paycheck to paycheck.
On the other hand, your financial situation may not be quite so tight so you would ask the questions slightly differently: "Why should I CONTINUE to accumulate wealth?"
According to God's Word, the answer to either question is based on your attitude about wealth. So let's answer these questions in light of what God says about attitudes.
First, here are some examples of "accumulation attitudes" that are NOT glorifying to God.
• God does not want you to accumulate wealth simply because others encourage you to do so. There are lots of financial planners who encourage people to invest for the future. There is nothing wrong with accumulating for the future so long as you don't neglect today's needs. The role of a counselor (religious, investment, or otherwise) is to offer you informed alternatives. The final choice should always be yours. You are ultimately responsible to God for how you manage your life, not someone else. So take on that responsibility by weighing what others say against God's Word before you act. Remember that Proverbs 14:7 warns you to, "Stay away from a foolish man for you will not find knowledge on his lips." And in Ephesians 4:14 you find, "Then we will not longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the scheming and craftiness of men." The bottom line here is to seek good counsel, seek many advisors, but remember the final decision must be prayerfully yours.
• You have already learned during our times together that having the attitude of envy is not part of God's plan for your life. "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.'"
• You need to guard against accumulating wealth as a game. It's only a game if you have no accountability. Recall that you are a manager for God and will stand accountable before God for the quality of your management. Stewardship in any area is not a game.
• If you strive to accumulate wealth for self-esteem…watch out! Your self-esteem as a Christian must be solidly based on our position as a child of God, a joint heir with Christ who has direct access to the throne room of God. No amount of wealth this side of Heaven can compare to the eternal riches you have in Christ.
• Loving money is not what God wants you to do. No surprise here. Remember Hebrews 13:5? "Keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
• And finally, you are not to look to money for protection. There is absolutely no protection in this life apart from God. No amount of money is sufficient. To try to protect your large estate with a ten foot barbed fence in meaningless. The only true protection you can have is tied to your personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
These are some reasons against accumulating money. But what about the other side of the fence? What are some God-honoring reasons to accumulate wealth?
What are some Godly accumulation attitudes?
I believe God's Word gives you only one Godly wealth accumulation attitude; there is only one reason to build wealth beyond your needs. You are to accumulate so you can exercise the spiritual gift of giving. Romans 12: says about spiritual gifts… "…if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously…"
If your income were to double, would you be willing seek out the needs of others with the heart to see if God wanted to use you as a conduit to help meet these needs? Or, would you simply consume or store everything you receive?
In 2 Chronicles 16:9 you are told that, "…the eyes of the Lord range over the earth seeking those who are fully committed to Him that He may bless them." What has God entrusted to you? What has He given you the ability to do with His wealth? How do you reinvest His investment in you? Do you use it for your own good or do you use it to help the Kingdom. Remember, according to Deuteronomy 8:17-18, even your job (your ability to produce wealth) is a gift from Him.
Why accumulate wealth?
It's all a matter of attitude!
Bob Louder is the Founder and President of Christian Financial Ministries (www.good-steward.org). Bob is also the author of the new best selling book, "Debt Free Living God's Way," available only on the Internet (www.debtfreelivinggodsway.org). Since 1987 Bob has helped people in hundreds of churches all across the country and in the European military community learn, understand, apply and pass on "Debt Free Living God's Way" principles and practical applications. He has represented some of the top Christian financial authors and ministries to include Larry Burkett, Dave Ramsey, Christian Financial Concepts, and Crown Ministries.
Copyright 2006 Christian Financial Ministries, Inc., All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this "Special Report" in whole or in part without permission from Christian Financial Ministries, Inc. Please credit material used to Christian Financial Ministries, Inc.