Take Advice from the Bible “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”
Wealth-Accumulation is a trap because “love of money” is forbidden by God. According to the Bible, those who have been “given much, much will be demanded” and“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”(Luke 12; 47–48; NRSV, Mark 10:23-27). It is evident that the rich ones are more likely to commit many of the seven deadly sins, such as pride, greed and binge eating. Pride is the capital sin among the seven deadly sins.
Jesus denied that wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. This is shown clearly in His Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The impoverished beggar Lazarus ended up in heaven. In a sense, the poverty which Lazarus suffers is obviously not a sign of sinfulness. The rich man ended up in hell because of his hardheartedness toward the beggar Lazarus.
Based on the seven deadly sins, the pursuit of money-accumulation is a sign of greed. In the Bible, “prosperity” means peace, safety and health. “Prosperity” does not refer to material prosperity (NLT, Jeremiah 29:11).According to the Bible, God’s faithful people may be rich or poor (2 Chronicles 17:3-5, Job 1:1-3, Matthew 27:57, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 16:19-22, 19:2-9, Proverbs 22:2, Luke 6:20).God expects us to “Cast but a glance at riches”for “they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:5)
Without God’s discipline, we might be allured by unduly desires, greed or lust or any form of negative emotions. Be aware of the seven deadly sins.
God’s Discipline and God’s Love
When our life track differs from our original plan, don’t be scared. God’s discipline and God’s love are intertwined. That fully explains the strong connection between life troubles and post-traumatic growth. Life troubles are life challenges. We fall and we grow.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were perplexed at Jesus’s statements. They were greatly astounded and asked, “Then who can be saved?” (NRSV, Mark 10:23-27). The antidote to be saved and be blessed is the execution of the seven heavenly virtues. To love and to repent. To give and offer help.
Wealth, Temptation and Responsibility
Muck like lust, greed has to do with unduly desire. There’s a strong connection between wealth and temptations. Wealth guarantee material comforts and food pleasures. However, wealth does not guarantee inner peace nor unconditional love.
Devotion to wealth-accumulation is forbidden by God, because the love for money easily makes a person falls into self-destruction. (TNIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11). Fraud or any form of dishonesty for personal material gain would drive a person away from God’s blessing.The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Those who with wealth beyond one’s need own the responsibility to share with those in need and show compassion to the poor. (NIV, 1 John 3:17). Wealth should be utilized in good deeds (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:17-19). Jesus saw wealth as a gift from God which should be used in His service (Matthew 25:14-30).Those who have been blessed with wealth must share generously with the poor (Matthew 25:31-46) and avoid the sins of arrogance (1 Timothy 6:17-19), dishonesty (Exodus 20:15, Mark 10:19, Luke 3:12-14) and greed (Luke 12:13-21).
Make the World a Little Better: Avoid Self-Seeking and Selfishness
To God, it is not “glorious to seek one’s own glory” that God demands us to avoid self-seeking and apathy (Proverbs 25:27; Romans 2:8). God holds anger against pride, conceit, and selfish ambitions (Galatians 5:19-21, James 3:14-16, Philippians 2:3, Galatians 5:16-26). According to the Bible, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” and “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, “you will “find disorder and every evil practice” (Proverbs 14:30, James 3:14-16).
There is a narrow idea of success based on the core spirit of capitalism. People hustles around chasing after wealth-accumulation so as shield themselves from discrimination. People suffer from sleep deprivation and still they don’t have time for their family and friends. They work excessive hours to exchange for things they don’t really need— more and more wealth and titles.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are…everything around us becomes better too.”― Paulo Coelho, “The Alchemist”
Chinese translation: 當我們給予愛，我們會努力變得比原來的自己更好。當我們努力變得比原來的自己更好，我們身邊的一切也會隨之變得美好。― 保羅．科爾賀，《鍊金術士》
Time for Contemplation
How much money needed to secure the life quality we desire? Does the society being hostile, snobbish and judgmental to those who earn less? How much annual income do we need to prove our self-worth to the world? Why people try hard to prove themselves to be successful? Are we surrounded by snobs, and are we one of them? Does career success amount to a wonderful life?