Americans love to hate the evil rich, but if one considers how riches are actually obtained, it is quite clear that wealth is not immoral. Financial success is simply the result of doing good things over an extended period of time. No one would argue that cultivating a good work ethic, diligently studying a field to increase one’s value, and working extremely hard over many years are immoral actions. Indeed our society praises anyone who does such things. Yet strangely, once the individual begins to reap the benefits of such good actions, our society suddenly begins to criticize them. How is this logical?
It seems that the cause of the defaming of the rich is nothing more than envy. For not all who follow the same path of hard work will achieve the same results. The non-successful worker’s plight is understandable, but envy can never be condoned. Nowhere has man ever been promised equal results. As the saying goes, life is not fair. A portion of good, hard workers will inevitably fall through the cracks and fail to reach the same levels of financial success as their more wealthy fellow citizens.
So the less-successful arrive at a fork in the road. Accept that fact that life is simply not fair and be grateful for the blessings that they do have; or cry injustice, demand the game is fixed, and stage protests until the results are equalized. All too often our lowly human nature compels us to take the latter road. But we must first ask ourselves one important question. What did these wealthy people do wrong, and how is their wealth immoral if it simply a product of good choices over an extended period of time?
Many of us attempt to justify our disdain for the wealthy by pointing out how often the Bible warns of the dangers of wealth. But what does the Bible actually say? Is it really true that “Money is the root of all evil,” as we so often hear? Actually, no. Three critical words are almost always omitted at the beginning of that passage, and they completely change the meaning. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Now let’s ask ourselves, who does this verse apply to more–the tiny percentage of wealthy who do almost all charitable giving in the United States, or those in the remaining percentage who gripe about how they are cheated out of more money? The answer is clear. Wealth is not evil, but those who complain that they don’t have wealth most certainly are.