Wealth and Poverty-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
I RECEIVED a text message a few days ago. It went this way:
"Wealth is not a sign of God’s favor; neither is poverty a mark of God’s judgment. They are however the two great tests of one’s character, either one can make or break a person; either one can expose his brilliance or arrogance."
For many people, a normal tendency would be to think that God’s love and favor is measured by the material possessions they enjoy. The richer one is, the more favored he is. And the person mired in poverty is being punished.
The message got me thinking. The key word in the text message I received is the word “test,” and the fact is, life is indeed a test!
What should we do with the wealth we receive?
The answer is the concept of stewardship! We are but stewards of everything we call ours! Will we be blinded by wealth and claim credit for all of it? Will we claim righteousness, and a special “relationship” and “favor” with God? Or do we treat it as a big responsibility entrusted to us, and a test?
On the other hand, what should we do if we were immersed in poverty? Will we simply say, it is our sad fate, and simply accept it?
No! Jeremiah 29.11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Claim His promise. Use our God-given talents. Fulfill your purposes. Work hard to achieve your goals. Prepare, persist, and persevere! Look around you. Have good role models. Have the mindset that if others can do good, and do right, so can you! Then, as you strive and until you have succeeded, thank and praise God. Proclaim His power and His glory, and be an inspiration and a blessing to others, too.
Should we blame God or complain when we are impoverished? No! We should accept our situation as having a purpose. The challenge is, can we still give thanks and be grateful for whatever we have? 1 Thes. 5:18 says, “In all circumstances, give thanks, for that is God’s will for you, in Christ Jesus.”
Hard to do in such situation, but may we say “Not my will, but Your will be done!”
Words to help us be in a proper mindset all the time, in whatever situation we are in, are the words “Grace”, “Mercy”, and “Blessings”.
How do we differentiate them? Allow me to try. In my opinion, “Grace” is receiving something good or positive, when we do not deserve it. “Mercy” is not receiving the penalty or disciplinary action appropriate for what we deserve. And “Blessings” are graces and mercies received.
My Dearest Children,
Life is a test!
One of my favorite bible phrases is Proverbs 27:21 which says, “The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.”
This is true, and I have fallen and failed the test a number of times. When people say that I am smart or an achiever, it can get to my head, and I tend to be proud and careless, and I do stumble. I can also be overly self-confident and believing in myself, and forget that “Humility and fear of the Lord brings forth wealth, honor and life” (Prov. 22:4)
Be grateful for the graces, mercies and blessings!
Be humble, have hope, and fear God, in wealth and in poverty! Know that neither situation will last forever! Everything changes, except God, and His love.
To everything there is a purpose and a season!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 14, 2013.