By Crown Financial CEO Chuck Bentley
It's no secret that President Donald Trump is the richest president our country has ever seen. His cabinet is also made up of extremely wealthy individuals, making it the wealthiest group ever assembled. Controversial politics and policy aside, is the mere scope of this wealth unsettling for our country?
Does accumulating monetary wealth qualify an individual for high-level government positions in the greatest country in the world? More importantly - what does God have to say about it all?
While he may be the richest, Donald Trump is not the only man of extreme wealth to serve as POTUS. Rich Republicans and Democrats alike have held the same office - John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush to name a few.
But Americans may share the concern that perhaps this Cabinet's wealth is driving an already-out-of-touch Capitol Hill even further away from the struggling, stressed out majority of our population.
On the other hand, wealth can be an indication of wise financial management and leadership. One could argue that having a Cabinet with a wealth of knowledge managing money will bode well for a country trillions of dollars in the red.
So what does the Bible say? Are rich people like President Trump and his Cabinet a problem?
The issue of how much or how little an elected official has is not the right question; how they manage what they have is the real issue of concern to God.
Because when it comes to stewardship, it really wouldn't matter if we were talking about the poorest farmer on the other side of the world or President Trump because being wise in God's eyes has nothing to do with the amount of money someone has.
Stewardship is about managing your resources - money, time, talents, words, and relationships - in a way that pleases God, not man. The issue is not being rich, but the heart attitude towards money that concerns the Lord.
President Trump has more money than most people would know what to do with. But any of us could have a perfect credit score, be completely debt free, have millions stocked away, and still not even come close to the biblical mark of stewardship.
If he, or you, or me, is focused solely on material gain and self-benefit through money, we will never understand what God's plan for our resources was in the first place. God uses both rich and poor for His work on earth. First Samuel 2:7 says, "The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He exalts." The issue is to be faithful to the purposes of God in all circumstances.
President's Trump money makes him no more or no less holy. And regardless of his wealth or political standing, he is our President and we have a biblical obligation to pray for and give him the respect he is due.
Rich or poor, we all have the same responsibility: To keep our priorities straight; To commit our work to the Lord; To avoid wasting our lives on things that won't last into eternity; To avoid coveting what our neighbor has; To replace greed with generosity; To be good and faithful stewards.
As Americans, we can begin to look inward, instead of outward, and ask the hard question of "what am I doing with my resources?" The answer may not be easy or pretty but understanding your responsibility as God's steward will transform your life and the lives of those around you. Crown has a new online personal finance study that walks you through questions like these.
All of us experience financial stress, whether it's struggling to make ends meet, planning for the future, or managing a surplus; and we all need sound financial wisdom. By pairing biblical principles and practical financial steps together, the MoneyLife Personal Finance study takes you on a journey to what a true steward looks like, rooted in truth and hope.
I hope in this New Year that all of us, not just the President and his team, will commit ourselves to using our resources for God's glory, cautioning all who are obsessed with earthly resources to remember that the goal is the pursuit of God, not money.
Crown Financial Ministries is the largest non-profit Christian financial ministry in the world, founded by Larry Burkett in 1976. CEO Chuck Bentley is a well-known author, speaker, and daily radio program host. Crown exists to help people discover and live by God's design for their work, finances, and life.