Living in Luxury

Discussions amongst Christians about life issues, walking with Christ, and general Christian topics that don't fit under any other area.
Post Reply
User avatar
Gman
Old School
Posts: 6081
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:36 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Northern California
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Living in Luxury

#1

Post by Gman » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:50 pm

I was reading this article today and I thought I would share it... It helped me anyways...

Living in Luxury

By Dr. David A. DeWitt

• Is it a sin to earn or have a lot of money?
• Is it a sin to spend money on yourself or your family?
• Is it a sin to live beyond your needs?

It's very hard to find biblical support for luxurious living. The idea of equating “God's been good to me” or “God's blessed us” with material or monetary gain is without any New Testament support whatsoever. The believers of this (church) age are presented as aliens and strangers living in a hostile world which materially rewards sin not righteousness (John 15:18-19). As the old song goes, “This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.” Ultimately, the issue of luxurious living must be answered like the questions about divorce, remarriage, the role of women in Christian leadership, and sexual conduct. Taking all the biblical passages together on luxurious living, what can we determine to be closest to the heart of God? We will get a very different answer if we ask, “What is closest to the heart of God?” instead of, “What can we get by with or get away with?” Picture a big circle which represents Christianity. Inside the big circle, at its center, is a little circle which represents the heart of God. Most Christians, it seems, want to hang around the edge of the larger circle. They ask, “How close can I get to the edge of the big circle without stepping over?” Suppose instead we ask, “What's closest to God's heart (the small circle in the center)?”

The Bible Never Condemns Wealth

Wealth belongs to God (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:26). The material assets of the world, that God has created and foreordained to be developed by humans, are good (Genesis 1:31).

The Bible Never Condemns People for Being Wealthy

God places His wealth where He wishes (1 Samuel 2:7). Although the majority of the godly people in the Bible were not wealthy, some of the most godly people were. For example, Job ...was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil (Job 1:1). The next two verses describe his wealth ending with the statement that man was the greatest of all the men of the east. Here “greatest” clearly means having the greatest wealth. So we must conclude that personal wealth and righteousness are not mutually exclusive. There are others: Abraham was godly and wealthy, so were Joseph, David, Daniel, Boaz, Joseph of Arimathea, the Lydia of Acts 16:14, and the women of Luke 8:3.

The Bible Never Condemns People for Enjoying Wealth

Under the Law, one of the three tithes of their labor was to be consumed. God said, And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household (Deuteronomy 14:26, see also Nehemiah 8:10 and Ecclesiastes 5:9).

Paul added this perspective, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude (1 Timothy 4:4). So it appears that God has no problem with His people enjoying the wealth He has given them.

The Bible Strictly and Specifically Condemns Living in Luxury

If God has no objection to wealth, then why does James write, Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you (James 5:1)? James' answer is the rich are to weep because of their judgment at the coming of Christ for the church (James 5:7-9, see also Romans 14:12). But why are they judged? One reason is, You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter (James 5:5). The same is true of the rich man who went to Hades (Luke 16:22-23). Abraham told the rich man that he was suffering because during your life you received good things. But Abraham does not simply mean that the man had wealth. After all, Abraham ... was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold (Genesis 13:2. see also verse 6). What he meant was described in verse 19, the rich man ... habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. So the problem was not his wealth, it was that he used his wealth to live luxuriously.

Why We Should Not Live in Luxury

Here are a few reasons:

(1) The Bible says not to (James 5:5). Enough said.
(2) Luxury dulls the senses--like a drug (Ecclesiastes 5:20, Psalm 73:3-5, Revelation 3:15-18).
(3) It leads to pride (Psalm 73:6-7, James 4:1-6; Revelation 3:17).
(4) It's short-term gratification (James 5:3-4).
(5) It makes us insensitive to righteousness and the priorities of the Kingdom of God (Psalm 73:8-9; Luke 16:21; James 5:6).
(6) It's a bad testimony for Christ and the Gospel (all the above plus Matthew 6:25-34).
(7) Some heavenly rewards depend on living in a way which is financially poor (Luke 6:20-26).

Principles for Avoiding Luxurious Living

Read and apply Matthew 6:25-34.
(1) Don't live in a house larger or more expensive than you need. (Abraham was wealthy, but he lived in a tent.)
(2) Don't drive a car more luxurious than you need.
(3) Don't accumulate toys.
(4) Don't accumulate clothes or wear clothes more expensive than you need.
(5) Don't substitute money or goods for affection with your wife, husband, children, or married children.
(6) Don't buy extra houses, cars, and toys.
(7) Don't justify luxurious living because you are giving a lot.
(8) Don't eat in more expensive places, go to more expensive activities, and join more expensive clubs than you need to.
(9) Don't justify luxurious living by comparing yourself to people living more luxuriously than you do.
(10) Don't use “it's a good investment” or “I can afford it” as an excuse to live luxuriously. There should be no connection whatsoever between how much money you have (or how much you make) and the way you live.

Determining Our Needs

No one should attempt to determine needs for anyone else. If asked, you can give advice, but don't judge someone else's motives or gossip about the way they live. Needs must be defined by each one's own business, family, and life situations. ... walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Determining Your Calling

Your calling is determined by things like: (1) being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29); (2) seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33); (3) physical situation like race, parents, stature, age, and culture; (4) personality, i.e., intellect, emotions, and will; (5) talents; (6) spiritual gifts; (7) desires; (8) opportunities; (9) convictions; and (10) roles. When these are consistent with the Word of God, they determine your calling.

Determining if You Spend Too Much or Too Little on Your Calling

Spending too much or too little on your calling will result in loss of heavenly rewards (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 6:20-26; 1 Timothy 6:8; and Hebrews 13:5). Here are some questions to help us decide about spending money on stuff. (“It"” is “stuff” in these questions.) (1) Does it make you more or less dependent on God? (2) Do you use it or is it something you put money into that just sits there most of the time? (3) Is it a tool or a toy? (4) How does it affect the quality of how you use your time? (5) Does it bring glory to God as you use it?

Questions and Answers

Q: Is it a sin to earn or have a lot of money?
A: No. Many godly people in the Bible were wealthy. If God gives you wealth, that's His business. Your business is to be a steward of it. Be a channel not a reservoir, etc.
Q: Is it a sin to spend money on yourself or your family?
A: No. Good things are to be enjoyed.
Q: Is it a sin to live beyond your needs?
A: Yes. This is where the problem lies. Luxurious living, by definition, is living beyond your needs. The problem, of course, is everyone's needs are different. You decide! You are the one who will have to stand before God and give an account for how you did that (Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 5:10). Here is a personal example (which may or may not be relevant for you). Too little: I ride a bike or drive a car which is in the shop every other day. Too much: I drive a $60,000 sports car.

Source: http://www.relationalconcepts.org/Short ... Luxury.pdf
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

Enigma7457
Valued Member
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:11 am
Christian: No
Location: Ormond Beach, FL USA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Living in Luxury

#2

Post by Enigma7457 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:10 pm

I like the article. I only have a few things to add. I heard some one say this once, and it stuck with me: Everyone thinks that what they make is just right. For example, the Guy who makes 30k thinks that 50k is 'luxurious.' But the Guy who makes 50k thinks 75k is 'luxurious.'

I heard CS Lewis say it this way. To judge if you are living luxuriously, look at others who make the same as you. You shouldn't be able to buy the same things as them because of your giving.

User avatar
zoegirl
Old School
Posts: 3927
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:59 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: east coast
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Living in Luxury

#3

Post by zoegirl » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:35 pm

That's a good general rule of thumb.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

User avatar
Kurieuo
Honored Member
Posts: 9896
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 627 times
Been liked: 644 times

Re: Living in Luxury

#4

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:57 am

Enigma7457 wrote:I like the article. I only have a few things to add. I heard some one say this once, and it stuck with me: Everyone thinks that what they make is just right. For example, the Guy who makes 30k thinks that 50k is 'luxurious.' But the Guy who makes 50k thinks 75k is 'luxurious.'

I heard CS Lewis say it this way. To judge if you are living luxuriously, look at others who make the same as you. You shouldn't be able to buy the same things as them because of your giving.
That's what credit is for isn't it? :shock:

Enigma7457
Valued Member
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:11 am
Christian: No
Location: Ormond Beach, FL USA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Living in Luxury

#5

Post by Enigma7457 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Credit, LOL. I'm afraid of plastic! :esurprised:

User avatar
The11thDr.
Established Member
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:14 am
Christian: No
Sex: Male
Creation Position: I don't believe in creation
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Living in Luxury

#6

Post by The11thDr. » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:15 pm

then use cash mashines.
Image

Trust me, I'm the doctor.

User avatar
Gabrielman
Advanced Senior Member
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:48 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 13 times
Been liked: 6 times

Re: Living in Luxury

#7

Post by Gabrielman » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:41 pm

It's just so funny how we give such value to pieces of paper and rocks (diamonds) and metal (like gold and silver) like it means anything anyway. What, do we just love shiny objects? What use is gold or silver? They are not good for building. What use is the paper we give value to? We just write a number on it and suddenly it is worth more than another piece of paper that is the same size and consistency. We put a 1 on it and suddenly it is worth less than the one with 10 on it, yet they are not that different. Who decided this stuff anyway? It is all inherently worthless. Why even bother? "How can you tell what a man is worth by what he builds or buys? You can never see with your eyes on earth, look through Heavens eyes!" (that fat guy off of the Prince of Egypt movie, don't remember his name...) anyway, we are worth more than all of those things, money, gold and diamonds, rubies and emeralds, they all have no value anyway. You, the person, has the value. Living in Luxury is pointless, the things you own slowly replace the ones you love and you value them way more, but why? What is the point to all these vain ambitions and items we pursue? Look to your husbands and wives, your kids and parents, your family and friends, your neighbors and the strangers you see every day, for they are worth more than all the riches and items you could even fathom. Look to God, for He is worth more than they. For all the things you know will crumble and fade away, but God has always been, is, and always will be! Who is your God? Money? A powerless creation that we will lose our hope in, a fiction kingdom (Thank you Demon Hunter for an awesome title I could use! :D [Google it]) A god with no power. All worldly things do is tear families apart when we pursue them to no end. When people live their lives to own things and to have them, they tend to forget about the ones they love, or rather they love the things they can't have and no longer love those who they should. It is sickening to even think about. How could such things be worth more than a human life? How could a new car be more important than a wife and kids? How could a nice house have more value than quality time with your family? I am not saying you cannot have good things, I am saying that when you put them first and foremost it will hurt you and change you. When your main concern is money and not the ones you love, when you let the material world burden you instead loving your own family, then you are going too far. Sure debt can be stressful, but where is your hope found? Is it in the ones your love? Or just your bank account? (Thanks you emery for that line) Sorry if this post seems kind of all over the place, lol just ranting a bit, I get frustrated when it comes to mind that some people are so obsessed with money and things that they forget they have loved ones and then families fall apart and, well it just gets to me is all. LOL wow this is one disorganized rant!!! Just disregard the crazy person!
Once I was trapped in a perpetual night, without even a star to light the sky. Now I stand in the glory of the Son, and not even a faint shadow of darkness remains.

TallMan
Established Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:47 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Location: Near London, UK, but I travel
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Re: Living in Luxury

#8

Post by TallMan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:43 pm

I havn't got the luxury of time to read such articles.

User avatar
Gabrielman
Advanced Senior Member
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:48 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 13 times
Been liked: 6 times

Re: Living in Luxury

#9

Post by Gabrielman » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:47 pm

Closed Eyes, Open Hands This would make the point I was trying to make!
Once I was trapped in a perpetual night, without even a star to light the sky. Now I stand in the glory of the Son, and not even a faint shadow of darkness remains.

Post Reply