A pastor from South China with 20 years of pastoral experience shared his views on wealth and the attitude Christians should have towards it.
Regarding the prevalent concept in churches in China that suggests being poorer indicates greater devoutness, leading to a reluctance to discuss money and wealth, Pastor Suo Zhen (pen name) pointed out that Christians can experience abundant honor and lasting wealth. He emphasized that the key lies in Christians creating and managing wealth in accordance with God’s will.
Suozhen gave an example, stating that although the population and land of Israel are small, the Jewish people are the wealthiest in the world. The reason is their reverence for God, who blesses them.
Furthermore, Pastor Suo identified the sources of wealth, saying that wealth comes from two forces in the spiritual realm: God and Satan. God gives power to Israel to make wealth, while the wealth of many others comes from Satan. Many people worship false gods and idols, which can indeed bring them wealth, but their ultimate goal is to take people's lives. Those who have experienced idol worship know the pain of being controlled by evil spirits after dealing with them
Regarding the ways Christians can acquire wealth, this pastor offered eight pieces of advice.
He suggested that Christians seeking wealth from God should follow His will. Instead of complaining that God does not provide them with wealth, they should learn to be grateful to God and acknowledge that all wealth comes from Him. They should turn their hearts toward God.
The second piece of advice is to build harmonious relationships. There is an old Chinese saying: "Harmony in the family leads to prosperity in everything." A gentle and kind-hearted person in business will be trusted and favored.
Third, diligence in work is essential. One should sow seeds in the morning and in the evening, because people do not know which will succeed. One should not expect to gain anything without hard work.
Being humble enough to seek God's guidance is important, he added. "In the life of a Christian, there will be difficult times. Though God sometimes tests and trains them, they should continue to obey His commandments. Christians need money, which God knows. He will not let them lack, for the Bible says, 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.' Christians should believe that there is abundance in knowing the Lord and make investment decisions with peace of mind."
Christians should seek wisdom in investments and less satisfaction in possessions, he continued. "Jesus instructed us to sell our possessions and give to the needy, storing up treasures in heaven. Jesus encouraged believers to give more to become richer, investing in eternal life."
Another piece of advice is to prepare to do any good and help those in need. "God gives Christians riches to enable them to give. Therefore, they should treat pastors, the poor, strangers, and widows with kindness," the pastor said.
A Christian should be a faithful steward of wealth, he stressed. "Christians must be honest, not forget their commitments, and value every penny and blessing. Even with a little, they can still share their happiness with others."
The last piece of advice is that believers are supposed to give glory to God. "Since wealth comes from God as a blessing, Christians should use it to honor God. Those who are proud will forget that God is their God, leading to their eventual downfall."
In conclusion, the pastor reminded Christians that wealth is the best servant but the worst master. "Christians should be masters of wealth, not its servants. Otherwise, money is what controls man. At the same time, Christians should be cautious, as Satan can steal their wealth through wasteful activities such as excessive feasting, drunkenness, gambling, and drug abuse."
- Translated by Abigail Wu