Biblical Generational Wealth Building
Updated: Jan 19
Very few things inspire me like Holy Writ (the Word of God). Unfortunately, many people are misled or even deceived by phrases like, "the Bible says," or "God told me." I have never presumed to know the complete mind of God. I do, however, seek Him daily through prayer, meditation, studying His words, and, believe it or not, by using my brain. Far too often, when talking about faith, people seem to think that in order to be an effective Christian you have to sometimes completely ignore reality and cling to that which is mysterious or otherwise unknowable. This is not my understanding of relying on God's word for guidance. I believe it is neither allowed nor acceptable to be comfortable or complacent with confusion. Especially as it relates to so-called, "biblical truth." My pursuit of understanding my purpose and calling does not require, or allow, me to live in two different realities or in two different worlds. But rather to learn, understand, and grow in wisdom in an effort to realize which temptations, lies, pressures, materials, influences, desires, etc., are likely to cause me not to live my best life.
For me, "living my best life," is living free and without guilt or shame. Living a "guilt-free" life has to do with my following all relevant rules, laws, commandments, etc., to the best of my understanding and ability. Living "free" is being able to engage in any legitimate pursuit, within any legitimate boundary. I want this not only for myself, but also for my children, and their children, and their children. This brings me to the concept of generational wealth. For me, wealth is not simply an abundance of possessions or a never-ending supply of money. But rather, to have a unique amount of self-sustainable resources that provide for all your needs, without you having to do anything else. Those resources will include money and hard assets but are not limited to just assets.
They also include habits, principles, processes, management skills, procedures, business connections, relationships, etc., that help provide and foster a "wealth" of financial and economic knowledge. Their resources and assets keep their wealth moving and intact. They really do not have to do anything else to stay wealthy. A rich person, by contrast, may have a lot of money and other resources but they have to keep doing something, and in some cases struggle, in order to stay rich, and maintain the resources that supply their needs. In short, wealthy people can simply sit around, do absolutely nothing, enjoy their lives, and still have no needs. So to me, to be wealthy is to have no needs and no struggles.
There are countless verses of Scripture that address money, wealth building principles, as well as, the character one should have and maintain when pursuing wealth. Unfortunately,
from my experience in Christian ministry, too many people are either convinced they are destined to be and even remain poor, and therefore should be content with their on-going struggle with poverty; or they have an exaggerated and often unhealthy desire to be rich, and falsely believe they can simply use and manipulate God's word to create riches.
The balance is in understanding the value of proper Bible study (content and context), as well as, the work and dedication required to maintain good Christian character while pursuing practical financial and economic results that can be achieved based on the principles they can bring to bear by their work and dedication. This includes dealing with personal pride, ego, and the lust for material things. Let's consider the following verses:
"But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3.
The first verse calls the people of God to remember what God has already done, including giving them the authority to build and maintain generational wealth. It should be noted that ancient writers often used wealth as a metaphor for spiritual riches like wisdom (which is a valuable resource). In the second verse, Paul is telling the Philippians that while he is unable to repay them, he trusted that God would, by supplying all of their needs. Although, some people choose to use this verse to justify asking God to supply all of their personal wants and wishes, not their genuine basic needs.
Nevertheless, Paul's trust is that the Philippian Christians, because of their faithfulness to his work, would have "no needs." Last but not least, is the third verse which clearly indicates that regardless of what one is capable of doing, regardless of their level of intellect, or even of their commitment to sacrifice and do good works.... without "charity," or a love for humanity that is unselfish and self-sacrificing, efforts are worthless and "I am nothing." Wow!
Charity is not just an act. It is a character or personality trait. It's who you are and what you do to avoid "becoming" as sounding brass. Which brings me back to generational wealth. A generation is approximately 30 years, depending upon the context. Therefore, in my view, engaging in generational wealth building has less to do with having everything I need, and more to do with establishing and generating the resources that will be available to provide for the needs of those who will not be here 30 years from now.
Again, those resources, to be sustainable from generation to generation, must include more than just money. According to the Time Value of Money principle, money decreases in value as time passes. Therefore, you need more than money. Generational wealth building must include habits, processes, procedures, management skills, principles, relationships, etc., all in the context of building, maintaining, and passing on to the next generation a character of "charity." That is the goal. To build and impact characters and not just pocketbooks and bank accounts.
Biblical generation wealth building means developing and acquiring resources (assets, plans, processes, etc.), that allow me to live off of those resources without ever fully consuming them. It is specifically ensuring that the resources are available for future generations, who in turn live off of and continue to build and never fully consume, but rather, also ensure they are available for the next generation. This process doesn't just build wealth but it literally causes wealth to happen. It is a practice of effectively evaluating and managing your needs, and not being driven by greed and a desire for obscene wealth, one can not wait to consume.