How Should Christians Relate to Material Goods, and Money?

In his delightful and informative ‘The Christian Education of Youth‘, Zwingli remarks

Those who put on strange or new clothing every day thereby show how fickle, or at least how effeminate and childish they are. Such persons do not belong to Christ. While they thus clothe themselves in rare attire, they let the poor suffer from cold and hunger. For this reason a Christian should beware of foolishness and extravagance in dress, as well as of any other evil.


Why need I forbid a Christian youth to love money and worldly honor, since these evils are also condemned among the heathen? No one who will serve covetousness will become a Christian, for this vice has not only ruined individual characters, but also well fortified cities and powerful kingdoms. Covetousness will overthrow any government that comes under its sway. When this vice has taken possession of the mind, no good influence can affect it. Covetousness is a deadly poison and yet, sad to say, it has spread and has become very powerful among us. Only through Christ can we destroy this vice within ourselves, and we can do it if we very diligently and unceasingly follow Him; for what did He oppose more than this root of all evil?

If only Christians today were educated theologically. Alas…

One thought on “How Should Christians Relate to Material Goods, and Money?

  1. Amen!

    My pastor recently posed the question to the congregation (in a relatively-rich town in NH) how many of us had gone on vacations in the past year. He then asked how many of us knew any of the poor people in our surrounding towns.

    If you’ve been on a cruise, he suggested, more recently than you’ve worked at a food pantry or worked to help build with Habitat or something of that sort, then it’s time for a very serious heart check.

    I’m kind of surprised that he wasn’t run out of the pulpit.


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