We cannot judge the hearts and motives of others. Yet, there are biblical principles and practices that define the lifestyle of Christian leaders, as well as Christians in general.
A rich young man asked Jesus how he could have eternal life. Jesus responded, “‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Matthew 19:16-26.
Jesus was teaching a requirement for discipleship. It is sacrifice. To be a true disciple, one must sacrifice his entire life, time, reputation, money—everything he owns for the cause of Christ and the truth. Romans 12:1, 2 (NIV): “Therefore, I urge you… in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world…”
The Master did not expect the young man to immediately give away his riches, but rather to use them to spread the gospel and to lay down his life for the brethren. The dispensing of his wealth may have been a lifelong work – had he accepted the challenge.
Consecrated Christians have a new vision, a new hope – a heavenly hope of living and reigning with Christ. Paul said, “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) We focus on heaven.
Consider Jesus, who is our example. How did he live? Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) He never told his followers to build big temples of worship, or to become fabulously rich. But he did say “‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:17,18)
In judging situations like the one presented in the question, we can only use the biblical standards. Leave the worldly to the world and do our utmost to live a truly godly life—in sacrifice and in service to our brethren and to others. God is the final judge.