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Demystifying the Misconception of Riches 

4 min read
Why the misconception of riches will mislead you

Misconception of riches is the beginning of a downfall

The misconception of riches deludes us to associate lack of necessities with going to heaven. Remember, God is not poor. He is very rich. God owns everything. He has only shared some of it with us in smaller portions.  

Where do we draw the line between wealth and poverty?  

To one person, getting rich means having enough. Another person perceives it to mean appearing on the list of the wealthiest. Our perception leads us to the methods we will use to get what we desire. It also brings out our level of faith. If we are members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement we get the point straight away.

Now, let’s try to figure out these two statements. 

Only evil people will have money if it is evil to be rich! 

Good people will lack money because it’s okay to be poor! 

Looking at both the above statements, none of them is right.  

If the misconception of riches would carry the day, where would we place laziness, one of the greatest sins?  

Would we just wake up to no aspirations every morning?  

Remember, laziness is a sister to greed and gluttony; both associated with impermissible wealth acquisition practices.  

So, a poor lazy man and a rich greedy man are both sinners! 

Is it not the same God who tells us we must have hope?  

Then what should we hope for! 

God created us in his image and likeness. Whether rich or poor, we all desire to have more and work towards it no matter how small.  

Now, let’s get the right point of view from the Bible.  

The Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Luke: 16: 19-31)  

Just to remind ourselves of the story; Lazarus was more like a beggar. Dogs licked the sores on his body. Lazarus always hoped to eat the left-over from the rich man's table as he waited at the door.  

Lazarus died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast of heaven. The rich man died and suffered great pain in Hades.  

Now, what’s the misconception of riches in this parable?  

First of all, it’s a parable. That means we need to scrutinize it carefully to understand it. If we just grab and swallow it, it will go straight to the windpipe and we’ll get chocked. And oh, we could even die! 

Why the misconception of riches will mislead you
The misconception of riches is the beginning of a downfall

Let’s begin by getting the meaning of Lazarus.  

According to the available Hebrew writings, Lazarus means, depending on the Lord.  

The picture of a helpless Lazarus, therefore, symbolizes having completely nothing of our own unless the Lord gives it to us. His readiness to eat the bits of food that fell from the rich man’s table depicts complete surrender to the Lord and the willingness to take what the Lord gives us.  

I mean Lazarus depended on the Lord 100%, unlike the rich man.  

Our perspective of the story in this article has nothing to do with material wealth. It's purely tied to our spiritual lives.  

How to live amidst the Misconception of Riches 

It’s not wrong to want material wealth.

If you want to learn how to invest like a Catholic, click here.  

What if God gave us an idea to invent something and we got rich? Would it be wrong to invent? What of spending the money from the invention on ourselves and other needy cases! Imagine how many people we would employ which turns around to a large number of families supported by our invention! 

The problem comes in when we focus too much on amassing wealth to the extent of forgetting our basic human obligation to love and heed to the needs of the people around us.  

We pursue different things in life: education, power, wealth, or even ideas. If our goals matter to us more than our decency, we will go astray.  

We need to strike a balance between spiritual wealth and material wealth without slipping into the ditch. Our private covenant time schedule comes in handy to help us hear the Lord's opinion of everything we want to do. Once we are filled with the gift of discernment, we will have our priorities right.  

Remember, all the big companies, of which some have many branches in different parts of the world were someone's brainchild.  

What would the world look like if we all allowed the misconception of riches to carry the day! We wouldn’t be having even the most basic necessities like shoes.  

Conclusion 

We need to live our lives today as if tomorrow will never come. If tomorrow happens not to come, where will we land? In the hands of God, or in the devil’s hands? Let not the misconception of riches prevent us from pursuing our desires. It’s upon us to choose to be rich both spiritually and materially while prioritizing our relationship with God.  

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