Bible Question:

Is it a sin to be wealthy?

Bible Answer:

Wealth is not evil by itself. Some of the greatest saints in the Bible were very wealthy. Abraham (Gen. 13:2), Job (Job 1:3) and Solomon (1 Kings 10:23) are a few examples of very wealthy saints. God never condemns Abraham or Job. Later in scripture Abraham is called the “friend of God” (James 2:23) and in Job 1:1, Job is said to be “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” God did not condemn them for being wealthy. King Solomon is our third example of a wealthy man. He is different from the other men. God did condemn him, not because he was wealthy but because his heart was not fully devoted to God.

For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (NASB) 1 Kings 11:4

In the New Testament, Jesus did not condemn men in the gospels for their wealth, but for what it did to them. Listen to some of Jesus’ words

You cannot serve God and wealth. (NASB) Matt. 6:24

And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (NASB) Mark 10:23

Jesus did not say it is impossible to enter heaven, but that it is hard. Why? Money gives us a false sense of comfort and protection. In Matt. 13:22 Jesus describes wealth as deceitful. Because wealth allows people to have almost anything they want, some do not sense a need for God. There is a risk for them to become focused on money.

Later in the New Testament, God tells wealthy Christians what to do with their money. He does not tell them to get rid of their money. He does not condemn them. He does warn them and encourage them to share it with others.

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction . . . Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (NASB) 1 Tim. 6:9, 17-19


God is the owner of “our” wealth. We are merely stewards. He gives it to us to meet our needs and many of our wants. He expects us to share it with others and with Him! We can thank the Lord for His goodness.