Burning Desire

Faith | 0 comments

Can you get rich as a Christian?

Most people would say yes. Many would also say it was a sign of God’s blessing on your life.

Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich) advocates thinking about riches every day, visualizing it, it becomes an all-encompassing mental focus:

Here is where a BURNING DESIRE will come to your aid. If you truly DESIRE money so keenly that your desire is an obsession, you will have no difficulty in convincing yourself that you will acquire it. The object is to want money, and to become so determined to have it that you CONVINCE yourself you will have it.

Think and Grow Rich (Emphasis mine)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

1 Timothy 6:10

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

The further I get into life, the easier it is to become convinced that this type of thinking is good, or correct, or necessary. It isn’t as obvious that I am falling for a BURNING DESIRE for wealth, it is the small(er) things. I need to save for retirement, I need to save for college, I want to be able to bring my kids to Disney World some day (with 8 kids that is a lot of money).

Of course, none of those are bad or problematic by themselves. They are even wise things to consider. But when they begin to become a focus, it is problematic.

I don’t know if I struggle with this more than most people as a business owner or not. I’m sure I spend more time with a Profit & Loss statement than most people, and have to watch the profit if I want to continue to have a business. One that provides valuable services, employment and supports multiple families.

But providing valuable services, employment and supporting families is an entirely different focus.

“You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 6:24

I am at a conference this week that is all about growing IT businesses. Better service, better products, better profits. This is what I expect out of a conference for business owners, of course. But it’s dangerous, too.

All week, I am surrounding myself with people, sessions and lessons that are on some level, antithetical to the call of Christ.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Mark 8:36

Moreover, it is a situation where there are pretty high potential downsides to success.

“Children, how hard it is 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.”

Mark 10:24-25

A secular Kara Swisher made this observation about many that she covered in tech:

the richer and more powerful people grew, the more compromised they became—wrapping themselves in expensive cashmere batting until the genuine person fell deep inside a cocoon of comfort and privilege where no unpleasantness intruded.

Burn Book: A Tech Love Story

So, can a Christian be rich and stay a Christian? I don’t think we answered that.

What we can answer, definitively, is this: it’s dangerous to focus on it, and dangerous to try, if that is the end goal.

This is a post I wrote for myself, it doesn’t matter if you never read it, so long I took the time to consider it.


Only a few hours after I wrote that, a speaker threw up this slide and stated, “That’s why we are all in business, to save money or to make money.”

Graphic with text reading "SAVE MONEY AND/OR MAKE MONEY" in bold white letters centered on a dark background.

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