The other day I wanted to get something off my chest so I recorded a Youtube video where I vented my frustration with people who somehow believe that chasing Christian success is in conflict with God’s ways. I’m focusing on Christian success because I know more people in that faith, and this malady seems to affect more people in Christianity than in other religions. But if you subscribe to a different faith, and believe this way as well, then this article applies to you as well.
Perhaps you’ve heard the term “Catholic Guilt”. That term could be used here, but it’s too limited because all Christian denominations show these guilt complex symptoms.
For lack of a professional term for it, I’ll just call it the Wealthy Guilt Complex.
The Wealthy Guilt Complex is the main reason that many of Hollywood’s elite become political liberals.
What causes guilty feelings is that they feel so guilty about achieving success, and acquiring all this wealth, that they try to alleviate some of what they are feeling by promoting big government programs. Of course, in the process of trying to get the government to take more of their money, they end up hurting a lot of middle class families who really can’t afford to have their wallets squeezed anymore. The better way might be for these ultra wealthy celebrities to give more to charities than ask government , which has an awful tendency to waste a lot of money, to determine who should get what. Charities, churches, and foundations have a much better track record in redistributing wealth than government does.
But I digress.
Jesus and the Wealthy Guilt Complex
This has a lot to do with a misperception of Jesus’ life.
Most believe Jesus came from a poor family and was a humble, lowly figure. They often picture him as being destitute, perhaps a traveling vagabond, with “no place to lay his head”.
This ignores the plain facts laid out for those who wish to read them in their own Bibles. Here are several points that refute that argument:
- Jesus had many brothers and sisters and Jewish families did not believe in having more children than could be supported.
- Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, had a thriving construction business, which included much more than just a carpentry business. Joseph was a “master builder”. This would have included architecture, stone masonry, plumbing, etc. Jesus likely took over his father’s business when he passed away. And Jesus was probably not a skinny, hippy-looking lad. He was probably lean, but muscular having grown up in the construction business.
- Jesus likely had his own home.
- Jesus wore nice clothes, as evidenced from the Romans gambling for his robe at the crucifixion.
This is not a new idea. It’s just not something that is talked about much because most people just don’t picture Jesus in that way. Here’s a short article that explains a little more:
The Bible and the Wealthy Guilt Complex
The Bible has a lot to say about God and success, wealth, and acquiring riches.
The Parable of the Talents is a perfect illustration of the Biblical Formula for Success and what God expects us to do with what we have. Read Matthew 25:14-30 to reacquaint yourself with this story. And whether we apply the lesson here to monetary gain or even personal development, the point is the same. God expects us to use what we have to better ourselves and to help those that we can by doing so.
But God also has a lot to say about poverty. Here are a few gems from Proverbs:
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
God expects us to work hard to acquire abundance and then to help those who cannot help themselves.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Working hard to acquire abundance is not out of God’s Will.
What is out of God’s Will is if one acquires abundance and then does evil with it.
God’s plan for our lives is often much more abundant and fantastic than we allow ourselves to achieve because of all the false notions we have allowed ourselves to believe. Once we cleanse our mind of these misconceptions, we are free to pursue Christian business success to our heart’s content, whatever we define success as for our own lives.
So remove those shackles from your mind once and all and become the best version of yourself that you can be.
And once you have done that, then you have truly found success in life.