I know the Bible says we shouldn't love money, and I don't think I do. But I grew up in a poor family, and all my life I've worked hard so my family wouldn't have to go through what I did. Am I wrong to do this? — S.C.
No, it isn't necessarily wrong for you to work hard and be successful—not as long as you don't let money corrupt you or become the most important thing in your life.
The key is to realize that God and His will should be first in our lives, and when we allow anything—money, pleasure, ambition, social position, etc.—to take God's rightful place, then our priorities are wrong. Jesus said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).
However, the Bible does encourage us to work hard and provide for our families. It says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). It also warns us against laziness: "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied" (Proverbs 13:4). Don't forget, however, that the Bible also urges us to be generous, and to help those who are less fortunate than we are.
Have you committed yourself to Christ, and is He the Lord of every part of your life—including your finances? Make sure of your commitment to Him, and then ask God to help you guard against a covetous spirit. Jesus warned, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15). Don't let anything come between you and God—including your money.