Does Religion Get in the Way of Financial Success?

This may be viewed as a controversial post, but it really shouldn’t be. Many religious people believe they have to choose between being rich and a humble follower of God. Some of this stems from Biblical verses found in the New Testament. Some of this belief comes from what is said at the pulpit from local pastors, and some of this stems from certain religions’ specific beliefs about following an exact blue print that God wants you to follow, and being rich ain’t part of this blue print.

Biblical Verses

The two most sighted verses from the New Testament are

“For the love of money is the root of all evil”

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

So many Christian people will look at these verses as well as some others and will come to the conclusion that being wealthy is evil.

Sometimes they will have a winning financial opportunity fall right into their lap, and when all they have to do is take action, they choose to rattle off one of these verses and they push the opportunity away.

Other times they will use these verses as an excuse to not get ahead at their place of employment.

Back when I was an Indepedent Rep for the MLM company Excel Communications (out of business now), it was my first MLM that I had ever joined and I was really excited. I went and told my church friends all about it and tried to recruit them. Although I had no luck with them, other than a couple of people who signed up as customers, there was one particular guy, we will call him John, even though that wasn’t his name.

While most people at my church just said they weren’t interested, this particular guy John really made an effort to try to “save” me. He quoted both of the verses above, and many more. I only mentioned the MLM opportunity to him once, but we talked about it many times over the course of more than a year. He was the opposite of that guy who can’t shut up about his MLM opportunity. He couldn’t stop trying to convince me to leave my MLM opportunity.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. He was a pretty bright young man, but he worked in road construction making $8 an hour. He lived in a poor and unfortunately dangerous side of town. He drove an old car that always broke down, in other words, he was the epitome of poor. I even tried to coax him into jobs that paid $12 an hour that I knew he was more than qualified for, but he was insistent on staying put at all cost. He really took those Biblical verses to heart and refused to pull himself up by his boot straps.

Intentionally keeping one self poor is far more evil than becoming wealthy.

Local Pastors and Leaders

There were quite a number of people in one of my church congregations who were recruited by a guy who was also in our congregation to join the MLM company Amway. He recruited a small handful of people, and they went out and pretty much tried to recruit everyone else. Some people in the congregation complained to the pastor and the pastor decided to get up to the pulpit and do something about it.

Instead of going up to the pulpit and requesting people to not bother other congregation members about their MLM opportunity, he got up and outright condemned the whole business model of MLM, calling it an evil abomination and calling those who were involved in this MLM business to repentance. Now, this was Amway, a legitimate MLM opportunity. Now, what effect did this have? Well, people in the congregation for the most part believed him and walked away from that sermon with the belief that MLM is evil. How dare someone try to be rich!!!

God has a Blueprint, being rich ain’t part of it

Okay, not all religions follow this belief, but there are some. And what does this whole blueprint thing even mean? Have you ever heard anyone say “thy will be done”? In some religions, it is believed that you need to follow God’s will on everything in life, whether that be employment, a career choice, even a spouse. You will hear it said, sometimes in the form of an excuse, “it’s wasn’t God’s will.”

This has gotten so extreme, that they are people who don’t even live for themselves. They feel they need God’s permission to do just about anything. Just as the Biblical verses mentioned above do, they allow this belief of needing to follow God’s will to hinder success in the workplace and becoming rich, all because they are afraid that following such a course of action to wealth……..just may be against God’s will for me.

During some of my attempts to share an MLM opportunity with members of my congregation, some of them answered to me that they needed to pray about it to see if God would give them permission. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with praying about a business opportunity, but it’s all in how you do it, praying for God’s permission versus praying for financial success.

During a time when I was struggling with my MLM business, my roommate who was part of my congregation suggested that I was not having success because what I was doing was against God’s will and that God did not want me to be rich.

If you spend your time waiting to get God’s permission to be rich, you will forever stay poor.

Sometimes I wonder why rich people sometimes stray away from their church and congregation. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the judge mental attitude toward rich people that exists in their church. -_- Sense the sarcasm there?

How to be Wealthy and Religious

As a religious person myself, I will state this in the most sensitive way I know how:

“It is not a sin for you to be rich! It is not against God’s will for you to be rich!”

As far as the Bible verses go. Just remember to be generous with your extra wealth. Donate to charities generously. Give to the poor. If you do this and do it on a consistent basis, these Bible verses do not apply to you.

Also, if you are generous, it will never be against’s God’s will for you to be rich. Did he not command us to give to the poor? How can we possibly do this……..if we are poor?

What more? According to the universal Law of Attraction, the more you give, the more you will receive. So those who are not generous and become evil because of their wealth, are likely to lose it all anyway.

Final Word

I hope that I did not come off anti-religious in this post. I am actually quite religious myself. I don’t mock religion as much as a mock some religious people who take their religion to the point of being self-destructive.

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