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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Does God Feel about Earthly Success?

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Don Stewart
Is earthly success something that Scripture frowns upon? Is it more in keeping with Christ's commandments to be poor? Throughout the history of the church there have been those who felt that poverty is equated with spirituality. However this is not what the Scripture teaches.

Love Of Money

It is not riches itself that is evil, but rather the love of money.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10).

Riches are neutral. They are good or bad in and of themselves. It all depends upon how we use them.


Anything we possess in this life is only temporary. We come into this world with nothing and we leave it with nothing. The Apostle Paul wrote:

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7).

Note What Is Important

Jesus stressed what is really important and what is not.

Then He said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15).

Rich Young Ruler

The New Testament relates the story of an encounter between Jesus and a rich young ruler. Jesus realized that this man's possessions meant very much to him. He was not willing to give them up to follow Christ. This remains true of many people today.

Riches In Heaven

The riches that we want to store up should be in heaven. Jesus said:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).


The world system in which we live is not our ultimate home. That being the case we ought to store up our riches where it really counts-in heaven. Riches are not the problem in and of themselves. The problem is making riches our ultimate goal.

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