Rich or Poor?
by Hugh Whelchel


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

- Jeremiah 29:11


Does God want us to be rich or poor?

Last week I heard two sermons touching on this issue, supporting two extremes:

  • One preacher said that God will give us riches and wealth if we ask.
  • The other preacher implied that giving away everything and living a life of poverty was more virtuous.

But what Scripture really says is more complex. Prosperity is neither moral nor immoral. It is amoral, or value-neutral.

Instead, it’s all about how we earn and steward our wealth. Business and all work has inherent spiritual value in and of itself. The idea of all work seen as mission radically changes the way we view normal business activity, and teaches that business can have spiritual and economic goals.

Wealth and capital creation can be tools with which committed Christians serve God as well as their neighbor.

What matters is how you are conducting yourself as a servant of Christ. Are you stewarding what you have wisely? Are you working hard? Are you leveraging your position as a Christian public servant to serve others and bring about God’s kingdom?


Lord, thank you for the gifts, talents, wealth, and opportunities that you have given me. Help me to really understand that what I have matters less than how I choose to use it. Show me how I can leverage what you have given me to serve others and bring glory to you. Amen.

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CLS is collaborating with the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics to provide first-class devotionals for CLS members twice a month. Hugh Whelchel is Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian research organization committed to promoting biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.