Have you ever seen someone out in public who you just assumed was wealthy and as a result you felt some sort of way about them? Maybe it was their name brand clothing and accessories, or perhaps it was the car they were driving. It could be that they looked a little more refreshed than others tend to, or they just had a certain air about them. Regardless of the signs, the thought that they may be wealthy evoked some kind of visceral emotion. Inferiority? Jealousy? Anger? Who do they think they are?
What about when you’ve had a conversation with such a person? Did you size them up first to determine where you fit on the totem pole? Did you make all kinds of presumptions about their childhood, how they must’ve been raised in a wealthy home with two perfect professional parents, 2.5 siblings, a white picket fence and a beautiful golden retriever? They must be so educated, possess everything you’ve ever wanted in life, it must be nice to be them. Why are they talking to me?
Sometimes it’s quite the opposite. Pfff…dang rich people. Always think they can get their way – like the rest of us exist just to cater to them. Do you know how many unethical things they must’ve done to get all that money? I bet they don’t even pay taxes. I’d be rich, too, if I had their privilege.
Does any of this ring a bell to you? The truth is that you cannot tell if someone is wealthy just by looking at them. Some hold the appearance while being deep in debt and poverty, others don’t look the part but are completely financially free. Wealthy people come in all shapes, both sexes, every size, and yes, every race. They run the same gamut of personality traits as everyone else. You really can’t know a person until you know a person. Their money doesn’t determine their character, tell you anything about their happiness, or give you sufficient criteria to judge.
The bigger problem here is not the prejudice, although it is extremely unkind to be so. The mammoth dilema is that you can never possess anything you speak against. As much as I see people speaking negatively about those with money, I see those same people excited about promotion, seeking higher pay, complaining about not being able to pay their bills, or desiring a lifestyle they cannot afford. Many think only about their own needs being met without acknowledging the plethora of people they could truly help in this world with the simple tool of money. Yes, money is just that – a tool – and a very necessary one.
I’m going to go as far as to say that if you are a Christian, the last thing you should be doing is speaking against wealth. You are the one who wants to see people saved, helped, delivered, set free. You are the one with the answers for a lost and dying world. You are the one who could do the most good with the tool of money. Yet if your outlook on having it is opposing, you will always struggle with finances while so many will continue to use it to promote evil.
What am I saying? You need money. You don’t need to love it, but you do need it. So unless you have taken a vow of poverty, I suggest you evaluate your relationship with wealth and your attitude towards those who have it – because the one who has it may one day be you.