Earlier this year, I happened upon an interesting article that talked about prosperity and faith. I’m always intrigued when the discussion centers around either of these topics.
The gist of the article rested on a Pew study that found the more wealthier a nation, the less likely it viewed religion as an important part of daily life. There was one exception to this however. See if you can spot it:
America always has to be different.
Why does more wealth affect faith?
I’ve always found this topic interesting. I think – on the whole and speaking from personal experience—the more money you have—the less “dependent” you are on anything or anyONE.
Now, I don’t think being independent is a bad thing. Being self-sufficient and making your way in the world on your own initiative is a great thing. But, I would say this with an “*” behind it.
When I first started my get-out-of-debt journey in 2003, I started working as a temp in a mortgage processing department and rented out a flat in the inner city with two other chaps for $300/month. I was doing the first part of Dave Ramsey’s motto, “live like no one else – so that you can live like no one else.” Coming from middle-class means to living well below my means, eating ramen noodles and shopping the thrift stores for my clothes was a bit of an adjustment. I felt poor.
And yet I have to say—without a doubt—this was probably the strongest my faith has ever been. Saying that, 13 years later and with greater means, gives me things to think about.
I really don’t think that any of us – wealthy or not – have done it “all” on our own. We’ve all needed help to get somewhere. Many of us have gotten jobs through friends/families. Many are wealthy because of friends/families. Some of us were born into means, some inherited it and others – simply put – have gotten “lucky” or were at the right place at the right time.
This one fact ought to humble all wealthy: none have made their “wealth” all on their own. All have needed others to varying degrees.
I say all this to the proud wealthy. And compared to others around the world, many of us in America are wealthy.
Here’s my thoughts on why having more could make us less believing:
- Pride (wealth = greater worth = we-know-it-all)
- Independence (we don’t need anyone’s help)
- We already have it all (what else do we need)
- Money could be what the wealthy worship (we all worship something)
All that said, America does seem to be an exception here. Perhaps we all realize these things and owe our having and being to someone greater. America has certainly come through some rough patches in our history and we are an eclectic bunch, coming from all different walks of life. Perhaps being stuck on this patch of land and having to deal with and get along with one another has what made us more faith-filled.
Whatever it may be – I hope our faith increases, instead of decreases.
What do you think?
Love to hear your thoughts on the correlation between faith and wealth – and why many of the wealthy simply lack it.