“Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” Psalm 62:10
Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of Facebook, the extremely popular social networking site using the Internet. A few years ago Facebook filed to go public making Zuckerberg’s part worth $28.4 billion at the time. By 2019 his net work increased to $68 billion.
At one time Zuckerberg was just the bright kid of a New York dentist and psychiatrist. Then, with a little help from others, this idea for Facebook caught on while he was in college and eventually spread to become a worldwide phenomenon. In 2012 it was estimated that Facebook had 845 million active users and in 2019 it had over 2.4 billion monthly active users.
Wealth is a curious thing. Many who have wealth, deep inside, wish they didn’t; many people who don’t have wealth believe having it will solve most of their problems. The Bible gives us five situations where wealth may normally seem preferable but it ends up being destructive.
1. “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16) Doing the right thing and being right before God are far more valuable than having great wealth and being separate from him.
2. “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” (Proverbs 15:16) Great anxiety often comes with wealth – just ask anyone with affluence. Real peace comes in a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8) Human trafficking is one of the most prosperous crimes in the world next to drugs. Much of this is done because of greed. The injustice done is proof of a life apart from God.
4. “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:19) Integrity often has a high price. Many times it results in difficult consequences. In the end, however, there is a great reward for those who choose the honorable path.
5. “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.” (Proverbs 19:1) Think of two men – one who may not have much in this world but who is loving, kind, and above reproach; then consider another who is critical, has a filthy mouth, and is downright mean. Which would you rather marry your daughter?
It is very popular today to criticize those who are wealthy. However, there are many godly people in the Bible who possessed much – Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. Affluence is not the problem; the problem is the misuse of that which belongs to God.
All of us would do well, whether we have little or much, to follow the example of the Apostle Paul when he said, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider…a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:7-8)
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.