Clement of Alexandria: Truly rich

“This best of maxims, then, ought to be perpetually repeated, that the good man, being temperate and just, treasures up his wealth in heaven. He who has sold his worldly goods, and given them to the poor, finds the imperishable treasure, where is neither moth nor robber … He alone, who possesses what is worth most, turns out truly rich, though not recognized as such … It is not he who has and keeps, but he who gives away, that is rich; and it is giving away, not possession, which renders a man happy; and the fruit of the Spirit is generosity.”
Titus Flavius Clemens, a.k.a. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) in The Pædagogus Book III, Chapter VI “The Christian Alone Rich.”

On The Pædagogus, or The Instructor (c. 198), Philip Schaff notes in Apostolic Fathers that Clement addresses it “to those who have been rescued from the darkness and pollutions of heathenism, and is an exhibition of Christian morals and manners — a guide for the formation and development of Christian character, and for living a Christian life.” With the clarity of Jesus in the Gospels and the boldness of Paul to the Galatians, Clement proclaims: Don’t believe what the world says or you won’t “turn out truly rich.” I concur wholeheartedly!

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

“Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things” (Galatians 5:16-23).

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