Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The Rich Poor and the Poor Rich
Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. James 1:9-11
The titles of this post sounds rather contradictory doesn't it? It did to me when I first read these scriptures, but upon closer examination, it makes perfect sense. You see, poverty (or less material things) has the benefit of less material distractions. The rich (those with more material possessions) have more distractions and therefore find it harder to get to Christ. Jesus said it himself, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:25)
Let's examine this a little closer. It is much easier for you and I, the working class to have faith and trust God for our provision because daily we see him work on our behalf. Daily we know that when we ran out of money, it was God who sent the tax return cheque to our mailboxes on the exact day that the electricity bill became due. We know that it is God who sends a friend to our doorsteps bearing the extra produce from her backyard garden because she had too much at the exact moment we were wondering what we would feed our families for the next couple of days. When we have less, it is much easier to see God's provision, his love and his tangible blessings and by extension, our faith in Him grows.
So what's this about the rich being poor and the poor being rich? Well, let's put it this way, the rich (again those with more material things) must learn to remove their trust from their possessions and place it in God. We must learn humility and the transitory nature of earthly things. We must constantly remind themselves that all they have on earth is simply for this life and not for eternity. We must remember that when they die, all their possessions will be left behind. That can be quite a challenging task. That is why Christ used the camel in the eye of a needle analogy. As for us regular folk, we are rich with humility, knowing that God is our sole provider and our eyes are already looking to him for our help.
So does that mean that the poor automatically make it to heaven and the rich don't. Certainly not. It means that we ALL - rich or poor - should remember that whatever material possessions we have now are transitory. In other words, one day, we won't have them. One day, we'll be dead and we'll either move to a place of eternal rest or eternal damnation. Treat your material possessions as what they are, a means to an end. Let us not forget that no matter what our station in life may be, it is God who provides, God who sustains and God who delivers. Even if you have many material things, God is the one who keeps everything in order so that we don't lose what we have.
May you be blessed with more whilst you remember that it is God who has provided it all. Have a blessed day.
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Joana James - Author