Voices: Augustine of Hippo on Riches

Augustine of Hippo was a great theologian and biblical scholar. He was a teacher who became the bishop of Hippo (in modern day Algeria). He was born in 354 A.D. and died of old age in 430 A.D. as the barbarian Vandals were besieging the city.

“They [riches] are gained with toil and kept with fear. They are enjoyed with danger and lost with grief. It is hard to be saved if we have them; and impossible if we love them; and scarcely can we have them but we shall love them inordinately. Teach us, O Lord, this difficult lesson: to manage conscientiously the goods we possess, and not covetously desire more than you give us.” — Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 133

Augustine’s influence on the western church was immense. Whether you know of him or not, whether you recognize it or not, how you think about God has been influenced by Augustine. I pray that the way he thought about riches might profoundly affect both your thinking and your living.