Comparing the Secular All-Time Best-Selling Book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, with the Bible

Comparing the Secular All-Time Best-Selling Book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, with the Bible


“One of the most influential books of all time in pointing the way to personal achievement—to financial independence and to riches of the spirit beyond measurement in money.”

The Bible remains number one in my view. Certainly, the accumulated wisdom of mankind, from creation to present, compares to God’s wisdom—at best—as a single proton compares to all of creation (Psalm 8:3-4).

Over 100 million copies purchased by those seeking hope, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill remains the all-time best selling book in the field of motivation and personal achievement. Twenty-five year old Napoleon Hill who is barely getting by, encounters Andrew Carnegie who challenges Napoleon to spend the next twenty years “to organize the world’s first philosophy of personal achievement.” Comparatively, this causes the time of earning a degree at DTS, or any academic arena, seem rather minimal.

Similarly, General George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) spent twenty years studying past battles and wars prior to World War Two. Carnegie’s challenge, along with Patton’s and Ike’s example, illustrate the necessity of persistent diligent study of any subject, including the Bible, that one desires communicating to the world. Am I accepting the responsibility of spreading Christocentric eschatology with the same degree of intensity?

During these twenty years, Mr. Hill interviews America’s greatest achievers such as Henry Ford, Thomas A. Edison, John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, J. Odgen Armour, Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, Frank Vanderlip, Dr. Alexander Bell, Stuart Austin Weir of Dallas, William Wrigley Jr., Charles Schwab, and numerous other highly successful people. He interviewed them to inquire of their success, finding high correlation of attributes among all encountered. He transformed the compilation of success principles into the book, Think and Grow Rich.

Napoleon Hill first published an unedited copy of the book in 1937, followed by an edited copy in 1960. Over one-hundred million readers have searched for hope between the two-hundred-fifty-four pages of manuscript separating the front and back covers. He continued his career speaking and writing about success principles.


I have read this book approximately one hundred times in the past twenty plus years since receiving my undergraduate degree. The stories provide excellent examples of applied principles, and provide recognition of principles that I have used for success before reading the book. Think and Grow Rich, along with the Bible, received high recommendations from a plethora of Christian businessmen and women at Christocentric business conventions. Nearly all of the principles correlate with Biblical principles. Unfortunately, “Infinite Intelligence” provides the only reference to God. While Infinite Intelligence receives credit for ideas to the subconscious mind, Hill presents success as primarily anthropocentric. The key resides in discernment, and remaining Christ-centered while studying and applying the principles. We must continually calibrate our heart, mind and soul on the word of God along with the conviction and guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Does this remain true of all principles and engagements we encounter in this world? Absolutely!

“In it you will find the magic of self-direction, organized planning, auto-suggestion, master-mind association, an amazingly revealing system of self-analysis, detailed plans for selling your personal services and a wealth of other specific helps from experience of great men who have proved their value. The riches within your grasp cannot always be measured in money.” The publisher continues in listing riches of friendships and business and personal relationships.

The book speaks of the secret, specifically left unnamed, yet alluded to in every chapter. Many in the motivational field allude to The Secret, drawing people who seek hope, believing this will enhance the end of every day, week, month, year, and their life. Sadly, none of these gurus acknowledge The Secret of eschatological eternal life in the death, blood, resurrection, and forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16). Nor do they acknowledge the Christian’s eternal, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the greatest prosperity and hope for both now and eternally.

“Thoughts are Things”

The author lists “definite of purpose, persistence and a burning desire” as necessary catalysts for transforming thoughts into wealth or a physical equivalent. The book shares the story of Edwin C. Barnes, who succeeds in becoming partners with Thomas Edison, despite starting with only a definiteness of purpose. Jesus emphasizes the benefits of persistence and burning desire in seeking God in Luke 11:5-9. “Thought(s)” appears 95th in eighty-eight verses from Genesis 6:5 through Hebrews 4:12, “think” appears 59t in fifty-six verses, “believe” a product of thoughts is written 292t in two-hundred-sixty-six verses, while “faith” and “faithfulness” other derivatives of thought appear 381t in 358 verses in the NASB95 Bible.  

Creation also provides an excellent illustration of God’s thoughts and words manifesting into  physical existence. As man created in His image, our thoughts also contain power (Genesis 1:25-26, Proverbs 23:1). The Bible speaks of “faith, believe, think, thought” and their derivatives 824t in in seven-hundred-fifty-one verses. Yes, the Bible agrees in the significance of thoughts. However, the effects of one’s thoughts depend upon the source of one’s thoughts, as well as the direction and submission of one’s heart while thinking. In Matthew 9 Jesus heals the woman with a blood issue saying “‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’ At once the woman was made well.”

Continuing in Matthew 9, “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”” Both the woman and the blind men possess the definite of purpose in seeking hope in Christ with their approach.

Do you seek and believe the Lord and submit my thoughts—belief—to Him (Proverbs 20:18)? Or do you seek self-creation through self-exhortation, thus denial of God or denial of my dependence on Him?

Can one believe—intimately know Him—and deny dependence on Him?

Truly knowing the Lord produces full dependence on, and submission to, Him in everything—especially our thoughts. Yes, thoughts are things!

Are you directing your thoughts, belief, and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?

Do you recognize Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the source of your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual hope.


Two types of imagination are presented and identified. The first is Synthetic Imagination, used in “converting desire into money.” Synthetic Imagination enables one to rearrange known objects and ideas to formulate new objects and ideas. A common use includes brainstorming on or about a project, this involves changing one’s perspective and perhaps proverbially disassembling current ideas in rebuilding a better plan, paper, presentation, etc.

Creative Imagination involves what Hill defines as the Infinite Intelligence, hunches, and intuition. Perhaps one could include dreams and vision, such as experienced by Jacob seeing the Ladder with the angels ascending and descending (Genesis 28:10-22), Joseph seeing his brothers serve him (Genesis 37) and Paul when seeing the man from Macedonia asking for help (Acts 16:9-10). Once again, prudence mandates inquiring the source of our dreams, visions, and imaginations.

Albert Einstein once stated that imagination is greater than knowledge. I agree! Imagination, given by the Creator of everything including our mind, allows seeing the unseen which includes inventions such as automobiles, homes, computers, smart phones, classrooms, textbooks and course notes.

Yes, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us (Mt 19:26; Mk 9:23), when they correlate with God’s will and desires. We are beyond foolish if desiring anything incongruent with Christ’s wisdom.

Prudence demands immediately rejecting and deleting any product of one’s imangination that one is ashamed to tell their spouse, parent, others close to them, or anything incongruent with God’s character as stated and revealed in the Bible. Imagination resembles nitroglycerin, if used properly amazing results occur, similarly a small amount of nitroglycerin also contains great power of destruction. Rhetorically, “Does the product of my imagination glorify the Lord Jesus Christ?”


God created each of us with amazing abilities and powerful minds, just as He created us with muscles for physical labor. Using muscles to their maxim ability certainly proves beneficial, the same holds true of our mind. The key factor in both muscle and brain rests in praising the Creator rather than the created, including self-exhortation. Our praise reveals our ultimate hope. We are magnificently created in His image, placed here to serve Him, while engaging in intimate relationship with Him. This fails to guarantee worldly success, yet this relationship assures our hope, our confident expectation, remains eternally only in the Lord.


Pastor Rick E. Meyer is an award-winning speaker and author. He has authored two books for his Running on Faith Book Series: Running on Faith: Timeless Principles for Winning Life’s Marathon and Running on Faith: Championship Wisdom – Quotations, Motivations, Devotions. He is currently serving as a Pastor in Kansas.

Rick trained professionals across America on various Leadership topics for nine years.

Rick earned an M.A. Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX. And a B.S. in Agronomy from Kansas State University.

Additionally, Rick has run over 140,000 lifetime miles since June 1978. He read an average of a book a day for over 20 years. He continues vivaciously reading in various formats for at least 4 hours daily. In addition to reading and running, Meyer enjoys hunting, fishing, snow skiing, and fellowshipping with others.