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How to get rich quick!

October 19, 2011

I was listening to Michael Moore on Newsnight as he was explaining the reasons he and others were demonstrating in Wall Street in New York and at St Paul’s in London. As I tried to interpret what he was saying I was reminded of how Jesus talked about ‘mammon’ which although often simply interpreted as money or wealth coveys a much deeper idea of a personality. As Richard Foster says of this term ‘Jesus is making it unmistakably clear that money is not some impersonal medium of exchange…..Mammon is a power that seeks to dominate us.’ Jesus is saying we make money an idol and as such as Christian’s we must topple the idol. Could this be one way of describing what is happening in these protests, people are seeing the power and personality of money, seeing it as an idol and are drawing our attention to it. Would Jesus be protesting? Should I be?

Then I realise that the problem is not out there but in me, that I have made money a god, that I worship and serve money. I see my happiness and security can be found in money, so I serve money by seeking it at all cost to provide me with security and happiness and as Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, so I end up serving money and not God. This is surely why Martin Luther said ‘There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, mind and the purse.’ We see this in the ministry of Jesus as he spoke more about money than about heaven and hell combined and he challenged the rich to topple this idol in their lives, often with extreme measures such as ‘sell all you have and give to the poor and them come and follow me’.

How can I be converted from money. How can I make money serve me and how can I serve God with money. Jesus tells us the answer in Luke 12:13-34, it is to be ‘rich toward God’, to make yourselves rich with God.  Jesus said God knows we need ‘stuff’ but  even ‘stuff’ should point us to worship and seeking after God. John Piper, using Ephesians 4:28,  says there are three ways of living with ‘wealth’:

1. you can steal to get – is this the problem of our unethical banking system in that it steals from others to get rich?

2. you can work to get – the level most Christians fine themselves and feel morally and ethcially good about.

3. you can work to get in order to give – and this is the New Testament teaching of how we demonstrate we are ‘rich with God’ . How we show that God is our reward and not materialism. This is not about amount or choices or comparisons but about a conversion of the heart. 

Let me leave you with Richard Foster’s six Christian principles of economics (found in his book  Money,sex and power) that he has gleaned from scriptures and which would be a good place to assess our economics both globally (banks), locally (business) and personally.

  • As Christians we affirm the goodness and necessity of work.
  • As Christians we affirm work that enhances human life and shun work that destroys human life. (can I add ‘family life’)
  • As Christians we affirm human value above economic value.
  • As Christians we affirm the need to enter into each other’s space in the employer-employee relationship.
  • As Christians we refuse to buy or sell things frivolous.
  • As Christians we refuse to take advantage of our neighbour.

So let us topple the idol of  wealth or ‘mammon’ by repenting with our actions by using our wealth through thanksgiving, generosity and giving to the poor to show we are rich toward God, that we are seeking treasure in heaven and not on earth. Let money serve you as you serve God!

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  1. Enjoyed your article very much. Interesting post.

  2. henry u permalink

    How do I go about it.wat dose it reqired to get rich here

  3. henry u permalink

    I mean to get rich in d lord

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