There is no Sin in Success


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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.






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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Delwyn Campbell says:

    Mr. Corley, I have read your postings with interest, hoping to glean from them. There is something in this post, however, that I find to be extremely troubling. You state that “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.”
    Your statement mixes biblical truth with error. It is correct that we should fulfill our vocations to the best of our God-given ability, for “to whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48). On the other hand, the pursuit of wealth cannot be done apart from “The love of money,” which is “a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Jesus, in the story of the Foolish Man (Luke 12:13-21), the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (see Luke 16:10-31), and in his encounter with the rich young ruler (Luke 18:10-30), points out repeatedly that the pursuit and focus on wealth is a stumbling block to the Kingdom of God.
    You give good advice with regards to training both oneself and one’s children in respecting money and making wise financial decisions. You are probably a very good CPA. When it comes to the care of souls, however, you are not a theologian, and by mixing error with truth, are speaking things that will lead many into a snare, and give place to the devil. It is not by your works that you are justified before God, but by your faith. Those who put their trust in money, and serve it, will not serve and trust in God, for “you cannot serve God and mammon.” Your assessment that those wealthy people are “closer to God,” based on your assessment of their deeds as righteous, and the criticisms directed against them as sinful, is far from the Kingdom of God, which can only be entered by faith, not by works of Law.
    May the peace of the Lord be with you as you seek His will.

  2. You need to put God first before anything in your life and you will be successful according to HIS will.Trust me!

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