Does God want us to be wealthy?


Full Question

I have been approached by some friends of mine who are part of a non-denominational Christian church who claim that God desires us all to be wealthy and that if we do not achieve wealth, it is due to a lack of faith.

Answer

Jesus tells a rich young man who wants to know what he must do to gain eternal life: "Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Matt. 19:20). Then Jesus says of the rich: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:24).

Your friends are only kidding themselves. The Gospels are full of examples of God’s favor being focused on the poor, not the rich. Jesus enters the world in a stable and lives in a working-class family. St. Joseph was a laborer, not a worker with fine wood. Through the years there have been many who have preached the gospel of the full stomach. But it is not the gospel of Jesus. Most of the saints who were born into wealth renounced it sooner or later.


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.