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Proverbs 28:6 (NKJV) Better is the poor who walks in his integrity; Than one who is wicked in his ways, though he be rich.

Books like Ecclesiastes tell us that being good does not always equal good fortune. We live in a sin-cursed world, and often righteous people are poor while evil people are rich. Despite the TV “health and wealth” preachers, there is no Biblical promise that Christians prosper (financially) by some divine right.

It is an understandable temptation to be confused or even jealous when immoral, superficial, Godless people seem to have all the finer things in life, while hardworking, God-fearing righteous people struggle to make ends meet.

Let’s be honest. Money is important. Money is useful. Money brings a lot benefits. It is a perfectly natural desire to want more money. For Christians, there is the very real desire that money opens up more ways we can invest in God’s kingdom, and of course, that is a good thing.

Still, we have to be honest about money. James tells us that we ask God for more because… why? Because we want to use it on our own selfish desires. We often try to deceive ourselves and present God with a holy reason in our prayer for more income but deep down, we really want it to spend on our own comforts, pleasure and personal fulfillment.  The Bible exposes true motives.

It’s a spiritual tension. On the one hand, money is a blessing from a God, a good gift (something else James tells us). God gives it to us so we can live life, enjoy life and thank Him. On the other hand, it takes discernment, discipline and focus to keep money from becoming our focus in life, and our distraction spiritually.

Wealth is not holy or wicked. The hands that hold it determine that. Better to be poor and stay close to God, than rich and embrace the world.

There is nothing inherently “Godly” about being poor either. We can be poor and prideful and sinful and neglect the Lord. Our verse in Proverbs reminds us that “money” does not makes us righteous, or prove some special favor or blessing on us by God.

Think It Over: It’s what we do with money – how we use it, give it, spend it and invest it in God’s kingdom – that determines whether we walk in integrity or live in wickedness. Don’t be consumed with getting more money, knowing that most of the time, our true motive is too simply use it on our own pleasure. Focus on “getting more God” and the Lord will take care of giving you whatever money He knows you need to live in His perfect will.