Is living with abundance a Christian Sin?
Last year when I wrote, "Should Christians use the Law of Attraction?" I received hundreds of emails. Within that time I have made many new Christian friends. However, one thing I noticed about our correspondence is that many of them ask the same basic question, "Isn't it a sin to want more? Shouldn't I be happy with my lot in life?"
Every indication that I have observed tells me no, it is not a sin to want and or attain more. The key for Christians, or any other religious group, is to keep things in perspective. A person with strong religious beliefs must first "seek the Kingdom of God" above all else, but that does not mean that a person must live in poverty to be spiritual.
Some people in poverty spend many hours daily thinking about material things, as opposed to thinking about spiritual concerns. And that is unavoidable. The world that we live in mandates that money is the means of exchange. Because of that, our very survival demands a certain amount of available cash.
Every religious text known likens man to God. We are told that God created man in his image. What exactly does that mean? God doesn't have a body, legs and arms. How then are we created in his image? We are created in his image because God is a creator, and we have the same ability.
Think about all of nature. The plants, the animals, the insects, all of nature multiplies and grows, but it does not create. Only humans do that. A bird may instinctively build a nest, but that is not creation. Creation utilizes a mind. The human mind is what sets us apart from all the rest of creation.
When we look closely at nature we find that God creates everything in abundance. Poverty does not exist in nature. Plant life is abundant. A tree grows as big as a tree can grow. And that same tree releases seeds that produce even more trees. One wheat seed doesn't return one wheat plant. One single wheat seed grows and blossoms with hundreds of seeds on it.
Or think about the universe. It too is abundant. In fact, it is an abundance we can't even intellectually comprehend. Science tells us that the universe has no beginning and no end. Furthermore, the universe is continually expanding. Nature is the ultimate demonstration of God's creative abundance.
So why is it that we as humans, one of the highest creation of God, believe that it is noble to live in poverty? Why are humans singled out of all of creation to live without abundance? We single ourselves out. Our gift of the mind, our own reasoning factor, is the reason why many of us live barely scraping by.
When we think back to the story in the bible of Adam and Eve, God placed at their disposal everything that was available. He held nothing back from them. God's original purpose for man was that he live in abundance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It is a sin to be poor." At first hearing that you may be taken back a bit. I know I was. But as I looked closer at all the evidence, and as I personally saw the way nature automatically responds, I must conclude that he is right.
It's interesting to note that when Jesus was teaching us how to pray he stated that whatever you ask for, if you believe you would receive it, you would. He didn't say, whatever spiritual needs you ask for you will receive. He didn't say, only ask for certain things, and don't ask for these other things. No. He said, whatever it is you ask for, if you believe, you will receive.
Jesus also used an illustration that hits this idea squarely in the center. He said, "What father, when his son asks him for a piece of bread, would give his son a stone instead?" He went on to say, "If you, who are sinners, would not do such a thing, would not your heavenly father also give you what you ask for?"
Why would God put in us the desire for growth and abundance if we could not or should not achieve it? That would not be the act of a loving father. Humans, like all of nature, thrive in abundance. We live better lives. We increase our capacity to give. And yes, we can and should be more spiritual because we live in abundance. Again, we are created in God's image. Nothing about God is lacking. God is surrounded by abundance.
Here is the difference. God has given us free will. That means we have the choice to live our lives as we chose. We have the power to direct our minds as we chose. Nothing else in nature has that power. Only humans. So whether we are prosperous or poverty stricken, it has been our choice. We are the creators. And here is the real key. We can elect to do it alone, or we can ask for God's help.
While King Solomon lived on earth he was the wealthiest man alive. Some scholars say even today, no one has even come close to having the abundant life he had. And God had a big hand in his wealth. In deed, God himself blessed Solomon with his wealth. How did that come about?
The Biblical story tells us that God was pleased with Solomon and told him to ask for anything. Solomon had free reign to ask for anything and he had God's promise that he would get it. What did Solomon ask for? More wealth? More pleasures? More property? More power? No. Solomon asks for more wisdom. The Almighty granted him that wish and with that came all the wealth any man could ever desire.
Let that be our lesson. Lets not ask for wealth, or pleasures, or possessions. Lets ask for guidance. Lets ask for wisdom. When you come across a goal that seems too difficult to achieve, lets bring it to our heavenly Father and ask for His guidance and wisdom. When we are in need of anything, lets approach God with our humble request, knowing and believing that he will provide for us the answers needed.
We can live in abundance and still maintain a harmoniously spiritual life. We simply need to know what our priorities are and how to ask for the help we need. Remember, God is surrounded by abundance, and we are created in his image.