I grew up in a very religious family. Every Sunday, we attended mass. Every Saturday, was confession. I said the rosary every night before I went to sleep. At a very early age I truly believed my calling in life was the priesthood.
But things changed and, instead, I became a CPA. Most CPA’s I know are very moral and honest individuals. I suppose those not cut out for the priesthood, become CPA’s.
One of the things my mother would often recite to me was a biblical scripture in Matthew 19:24:
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
As a result, I grew up convinced that the pursuit and acquisition of wealth was a mortal sin and saw all wealthy individuals as sinners. Almost daily, this belief was validated by the media and politicians, who almost unanimously, vilified the rich as individuals who did not pay their fair share in taxes, who paid employees far too little and who were, well, just plain corrupt.
That all changed in 2009, after completing my analysis of my five-year study on the daily habits of the rich and poor. That study opened my eyes. I learned that wealthy individuals were not bad people. So many of the self-made millionaires I studied devoted their time and money, funding and running charitable organizations that helped poor people, disabled people, homeless people, and those otherwise cast aside by society. They also valued their employees, loaning them money to help them purchase a home, paying for unexpected medical expenses and mentoring them so they too could succeed. Wealthy people, I found, were among the finest human beings to walk the earth.
No, it’s not a sin to pursue and acquire wealth. In fact, I have come to believe that those who pursue and realize their dreams, and become wealthy in the process, are actually closer to God than those who sit in condemnation of them.
Don’t let ignorant ideologies hold you back from the pursuit of success. Unshackle yourself from them. Those who embrace the notion that the pursuit and acquisition of wealth is bad, are, in my opinion, the real sinners.