Gold is poisonous. No really. When you melt it down or smelt it, the fumes emitted are toxic. Gold poisoning is an actual medical condition caused by overexposure to gold. The body can't digest heavy metals.
"Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (rusted); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." (James 5:2-3)
But again, the Bible uses the analogy of the smelting and refining process to show what God does with us and our faith in Him: "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts." (Proverbs 17:3)
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:7)
I'm not advocating a form of Christian Socialism, but again, the book of Acts (written by Luke, the "beloved physician" Colossians 4:14) does talk about how early Christians "had all things common" (Acts 2:44) And when something like twenty percent of the world's wealth is in the hands of Christians, and the Bible does say to tithe (give ten percent of) our earnings "into the storehouse" (Malachi 3:10), I'm hard pressed to see why the worlds is in the bad financial shape it's in today. What with the extravagant giving spirit inherent in God's character coupled with the exhortation to give: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28)
Who determines worth? Who determines wealth? I know that Paul says "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). I would have to say that it's the power that said wealth represents. And power corrupts—without God. My opinion is that if we have wealth and the power that goes along with it, we should be using it for good and minimalizing that which we think we need in order to live from a place of being "content with such things as ye have" (Hebrews 13:5). This active discipline in the winnowing of our possessions in light of the greater good. God's good. How much do we really need to be happy?
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:6)
This can be a touchy subject, that of financial issues and principles. Oswald Chambers says that it's "ungovernably bad taste to talk about money in the natural domain." What he's saying is that unless we make the effort to see God as our provider, both of things spiritual and things natural, the acquisition of money will be the chief aim of our lives. Sure, we'd never admit to it, but just let a financial crisis arise (hasn't it already?) and where do we look for the undergirding confidence that our wealth was bestowing, however subconsciously?
As in any domain—emotional, familial, physical—God restores. If you've faced financial difficulty (and who hasn't?), God will help you see things in a better light and then take you to that horizon. I believe the process is expedited when we agree to dial down our grasping and spending and learn to live simply, yet love extravagantly.
What makes your world go 'round?
"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things (anything) which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:32-33)