Why Do We Dislike the Wealthy?
Why do people dislike wealthy people? Have you ever heard anyone say of a wealthy oil company or wealthy businessman or woman, “Good for them! They worked so hard! I’m glad they have been so successful with their finances”? I can honestly say I have never heard anything like this. Instead we hear how the wealthy people are taking all the money and how they should have to pay heavy taxes to make them suffer for earning so much money. Why do we feel this way? I believe it’s because we want to be the ones earning the money. We want to be the wealthy ones. We want to be the ones with all the money. We don’t want to see someone else prosper. But is this how God wants us to act?
In Bible times, Jonah was given a mission from God to go to the evil city of Nineveh and preach repentance to the people. Jonah had no intentions of doing such a thing and fled in the opposite direction from Nineveh. Jonah did not seem to have a heart for the lost people of Nineveh. He did not care that their wickedness was going to destroy them. Most of us know the story of how Jonah encountered a terrible storm while on the ship fleeing from Nineveh. Lots were cast to see who had brought this evil on the ship, and Jonah was found to be the cause. He was cast overboard, and the storm “ceased from its raging” (Jonah 1:15). A great fish God had prepared swallowed him. As he was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, he had time to reflect on what he had done. It is never a wise move to run from God. If God has an assignment for you, you can be rest assured that it will be the perfect place in every way for you.
After Jonah repented from his disobedience, the fish spit him up on dry land. I can’t imagine what Jonah’s clothes must have smelled like! He went on to Nineveh as he should have done in the first place. Because of his preaching, the citizens of Nineveh repented and were saved from the punishment God had warned was coming on them. Here’s where the story shows God uses imperfect people. After Jonah realized God was not going to destroy Nineveh as He had warned, “it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was very angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, I pray You, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and (when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions) You revoke the (sentence of) evil against them. Therefore now, O Lord, I beseech You, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Is he serious? He is so angry that the evil people did not get what was coming to them that he wanted God to just kill him. Where is the love and compassion toward the citizens of Nineveh? Where is the pleasure in knowing that you had a hand in saving all those people from destruction? Where is the pride and joy in the people for seeing their evil ways and changing for the better?
God is not happy with Jonah’s attitude. He says in Jonah 4:3, “Do you do well to be angry?” God reprimanded Jonah for not being happy for the people of Nineveh.
Many of us are so much like Jonah. We are not pleased when others prosper. The problem is that we have not walked in the shoes of the wealthy. We have not had to do what they had to do to get there. I know some people have inherited money, but even that I’m sure has its cons that I wonder if some of us would be willing to sacrifice for. I have seen what my children have had to go through to become doctors. I’ve seen the long, endless hours of studying, and the stress they are under every day. I will never say that a doctor does not deserve the money he or she makes.
I have also seen people who have tried to take the easy way. They did not want to go through long years of study and work. They want to make a lot of easy money without having to work hard to get it. They want a life of leisure. They want the government to pay for their very existence, but the Bible says in II Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.” That’s pretty straight forward.
When I see God prospering godly friends, I try to be happy for them. I know God does not love one of us more than another. If He prospers someone in some way, I know my time is coming, too. I just have to continue to believe and trust in Him. God is also not going to give you more than you can handle. He is not going to let wealth destroy you. Wealth is not worth losing your heavenly eternity for.
I encourage you to seek God’s face and His direction in your life. He has a wealthy place for each one of us. I’m not speaking just of money, although we all need money to live. I’m also talking about health, family; all areas of life are included in your prosperity. My prayer for you is that you find that perfect place God has planned for you, and that you prosper greatly in it.