Wealth and Personality

One of my favorite quotes about wealth and personality is by Steve Harvey: ““Money and power don’t change people; they allow people to be more of who they are.”

And I’ve often said that: “The rich, in general, are no more corrupt than the poor.”

But a new study by Paul Piff found that great wealth is associated with great narcissism.

And we all know that “Money is the root of all evil.”

But not really. The above is a misquote from I Timothy 1:10, which more accurately reads: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil… (NIV).”

And Matthew 19:24 warns that: “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God (NIV).”

But Jesus immediately follows His statement above in Matthew 19:26: ““With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (NIV).”

And the question of the relationship between wealth and personality has burdened me for the better part of my entire life, having grown up as (what might now be termed) a 1%-er.

But today I comfortably struggle in the middle 50%.

And deep down it frustrates me to know I will never even knock on the door of 1% again.

But maybe that’s good.

And I would love your thoughts.

© 2013, Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University, and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.





Filed under Phil's Philosophy

4 responses to “Wealth and Personality

  1. Vicky Morris

    The blessing of wealth also comes with great responsibility. Actions of the holders of wealth are usually a greater navigator of judgement than wealth alone. That being said, there are very generous people in the 1% alongside those that are not. Be kind, be driven and do your best to glorify God and give thanks for what you have.

  2. I recommend Piff’s article at the link below. It is very well written, relatively short, and it brings up lots of questions.

    How do one’s wealth and social status affect who they are and how they view others? How does one’s personality affect their wealth and social status?


  3. Neil Swartz

    My foster father, Max Ferguson, shared with me his thoughts on this subject some twenty five years ago.

    He said that as a younger Christian, he felt burdened by the responsibility of having so much wealth. However, as he matured in his relationship with God, he realized it wasn’t a burden, it was a blessing.

    That being shared, I struggle with trying to understand why I haven’t been blessed in the same way. I’m trying to just provide for my family at minimum wage. I also am developing an attitude of gratitude with what I realize God has given me: Romans 8:1.

    Loved reading your thoughts.

    Best regards,


    Sent from my iPhone

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