What does the Bible say about collecting riches?

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Riches in itself is not evil. However, it is the human tendency to become busy with gathering it for personal pride and pleasure that is wrong for it often leads to forgetting God (Hosea 13:6). Jesus said, “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” (Mark 10:25). And in many cases, it is “the poor of this world” who prove to be “rich in faith” (James 2:5).

The Savior urged His followers, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21). And He stressed that, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other… You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

It is often the case when a believer becomes “rich, increased with goods,” and feels satisfied in his condition, that he becomes lacking in things of more lasting worth (Rev. 3:17). Therefore, he should not rely on his wealth. And he is advised, “if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). For “whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf” (Proverbs 11:28).

A person that becomes proud in his wealth and prosperity thinks that it was because of his own ability, but he doesn’t realize that it is God “who gives” him “power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8: 18). And instead of feeling his need for God and share his prosperity with others, he feels that he must protect his wealth by constantly adding more to his assets (1 Timothy 6:17).

Therefore, a believer must guard against covetousness because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). To fight the spirit of greed, he is counseled to sell his “possessions, and give to the needy” (Luke 12:33). For “whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Proverbs 11:24,25).

Material possessions may lead to obsession with worldly things. And the Christian is to put God first, and trust Him for his needs (Matt. 6:33). There is no security in riches, away from God. But if a man places the kingdom of heaven first in his heart, God will graciously “anoint” his head with oil (Matthew 6:17) and his cup will overflow with blessings (Psalms 23:6).

Paul wrote that we cannot take anything out of the world when we die. Therefore, we need to be content because the desire to be rich is a snare and a temptation and “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:7-10). In conclusion, we need to keep our lives free from the love of money, and the Lord promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews. 13:5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

 

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