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First of all, we need to heed what God says about wealth in His Word. God is not against wealth. There are Christians who love money, and when they become wealthy they are bound to become fearful.

Fear of losing their wealth, fear of what others think of them, fear of having to give away their wealth, fear of making friends thinking people have ulterior motives in wanting to know them, fear of revealing their financial resources, even to their loved ones.

Wealth brings with it a great burden.

Money In, Money Out 

Who gives wealth? If a person believes that his wealth comes from his business acumen, luck, professional competence or hard work, he will be unwilling or reluctant to use what he has to fulfill God’s plan and purpose.

After all, he makes the money so he deserves it! That is why many are reluctant to acknowledge that God is the source of all their wealth and that God is the owner. The truth is, the believer is just a steward of God’s resources.

If you believe your wealth comes from business acumen, luck, professional competence or hard work, you will be reluctant to use it to fulfil God’s plan and purpose.

There is teaching going on in many churches throughout the world that God wants all His people to be “rich” or “wealthy”. Thank God that the majority of God’s people are not millionaires or multi-millionaires, because God knows we cannot handle it.

Fire is useful for many things but it is dangerous when we cannot handle it. The same is true of material wealth. I believe God wants to put millions in His peoples’ hands and He wants the same people to use the millions for His glory. It is right for a believer to be fearful of the danger of wealth because wealth can bring pride and cause him to stray away from God’s will in his life.

How much wealth should I have?

 The reality is that the wealthier people (both Christians and non-Christians) get, the stingier they become. Of course there are some exceptions and I have met a few of them.

A friend of mine told me that he would be happy if he could make his first million in five years. He did make his first million in less than five years. While having breakfast with him one day he remarked: “I don’t think I will be happy unless I see ten million in my assets.”

My answer to him was pretty straightforward: “If you can’t be happy with one million, you will never be happy with ten million.”

Beyond Riches

When I was running an insurance agency I was earning a few hundred thousand a year. But I was not satisfied with what I was doing. It had nothing to do with the amount. I wanted to do different things for my clients which the agency system does not allow. The law also doesn’t allow me to do things for my clients the way I believe they should be done.

I wanted to strike out on my own, leaving the company I was associated with for about 23 years. It took me a year to take that step as I was afraid of losing what I was comfortably making.

In the end I took comfort in God’s promise that He would take care of all my needs. My wife was very supportive and willing, if necessary, to sell the house we had. But God took away her fears. 

We can’t make all our decisions based on having more or making more. I believe there are times God wants us to have less so that we can trust Him more.

This article was first published in the June/July 2005 issue of IMPACT Magazine.

About the author

Benny Ong

Benny Ong is a founding director of a financial advisory company providing financial planning services. He is a member of Church of Our Saviour Singapore and is involved in the area of speaking and teaching with various churches in the region and para church groups in Singapore.