There is a group of people out there who have made a lot of money through what is called “motivational speaking.” These people have gotten wealthy by telling people they are able to accomplish all that they themselves have accomplished by believing. Not by believing in God, but by believing in themselves and their own willpower. They instruct people to invest more in themselves than in anything else, put together “dream boards”, find people to look up to and adopt their behaviors. They instruct you to put aside the “trash” of the world and only take in information that motivates you to gain more. It is even common to hear them instruct you to get rid of relationships that are not bringing you towards your goals for more. Some of these things aren’t bad ideas and might even be good things for everyone to adopt, however a lot of this is contrary to the word of God and the teachings of Jesus. The biggest problem with all of this is not that these people exist (we expect the world to act like that and value these things), but that it has crept its way into the church.
I have seen so many Christians deceived into thinking that there is nothing wrong with thinking this way. They go on putting pictures on a board of objects to look at and lust after until they acquire them through their hard work. This is not the way the Kingdom of God operates and many Christians have bought into the lie. Jesus never tells us to boast in our own ability, but to boast in Him. He doesn’t tell us to focus on physical possessions and wealth, on the contrary, Jesus tells us that we cannot be devoted to wealth and God at the same time.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
Just because you grace the building called “church” once, maybe even three times per week, just because you give ten percent of your income, just because you read your bible and say christian words doesn’t mean that you are devoted to the Creator of the universe. That means you are committed to your customs and traditions. It is impossible to be devoted to getting wealthy and devoted to Christ at the same time. You will only be able to serve one or the other, never both.
Jesus goes on in Matthew to tell us not to worry. He says that worrying about what we will eat, what we will wear, or basically our needs will cause us to focus on money and not on Him. Therefore He commands us to not worry and trust that God knows our needs and will provide. This is an indicator of someone who is living in and for Christ as to someone who is not. Jesus says that the worry (which is in conflict with the will of God) worries about these things.
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Matthew 6:31-32
He gives us the opportunity to not have to worry about our needs by telling us to focus on His kingdom and what He has for us to do, in turn, He will provide all that we need. Whether He chooses to do that with great wealth or with barely just enough is up to Him. Don’t focus on wealth, don’t be motivated by money. Instead, do all that you do as an act of obedience to Him and with His kingdom in mind. Let Him take care of you for doing the work of Christ. Don’t buy the lie, there is no place for a desire of wealth in Christ’s Church.