For a long time, I automatically associated “rich Christian” with “false gospel.” But recently, I’ve come to discover that there are two types of “rich Christians” in America.
I have encountered those who take great pride in their material things. They claim God has blessed them and their expensive cars, homes, and clothing are a sign of that “blessing.”
Many times, this mindset goes hand in hand with pressure from church leadership to tithe and give regularly to avoid a curse in one’s finances. It’s a very shallow way to view God because it insists that “if I do, then God will do ” and vice versa.
A quick look at Matthew 5-7 tells us that this is anything but the case. When Jesus called someone “blessed,” it actually meant “to be envied.” Isn’t it interesting how so many of us in America automatically associate “blessing” with “material things?” There are many warnings throughout the New Testament. 2 Peter 2 and 1 Timothy 4 are just a couple of resources on the topic of blessing.
I have also encountered those who are wealthy, yet humble. They don’t play games with God or try to be someone they are not. They are just wealthy. Because of God. And with those riches, they make big things happen. They make the light of God shine in the world around them through their sincere generosity.
There doesn’t appear to be any manipulation from the church leadership with believers of this nature. They give freely as the Holy Spirit leads them, and God moves through that unselfishness. It reminds me a lot of the accounts of the church in Acts 2.
There’s something so graceful and effortless about a church environment like this:
- It allows the needs of the people as a whole to get met.
- Intimate worship happens between everyone involved.
- Those involved grow closer to God and are able to experience His unbiased love.
It’s the kind of church that most of us, maybe even all of us, so desperately want to be a part of.
Are you becoming frustrated with the state of the American Church like I have been from time to time? Be encouraged and know that the same quality of Christian community that existed in New Testament times is not just a thing of the past. It really does exist. And may even be right around the corner from where you live.