RICH OR POOR

Activated - - NEWS - This ar­ti­cle is in­cluded cour­tesy of GotQues­tions.org5 ■

The apos­tle Paul ad­dressed the is­sue of wealth in 1 Ti­mothy 6:8–10: “If we have food and cloth­ing, we will be con­tent with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temp­ta­tion and a trap and into many fool­ish and harm­ful de­sires that plunge peo­ple into ruin and de­struc­tion. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some peo­ple, ea­ger for money, have wan­dered from the faith and pierced them­selves with many griefs.” 1 Hav­ing money is not wrong, but lov­ing money is. The abun­dance of money or the lack of money is less im­por­tant than our spir­i­tual con­di­tion.

In Jewish cul­ture, poverty and even dis­abil­ity were of­ten seen as the re­sult of some­one’s per­sonal sin. In John 9:1–3, the dis­ci­ples of Je­sus asked, “‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his par­ents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Nei­ther this man nor his par­ents sinned,’ said Je­sus, ‘but this hap­pened so that the works of God might be dis­played in him.’” 2 While hu­man na­ture of­ten at­tributes poverty or other weak­nesses to some­thing wrong a per­son has done, God can and does use such cir­cum­stances to work His per­fect plan.

The ac­count of the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17–22 shows how riches can be a spir­i­tual stum­bling block. Je­sus told the young man to sell his pos­ses­sions, give the money to the poor, and then fol­low Je­sus. The man walked away sad be­cause he was a man of much wealth. In this case, the man’s wealth was a neg­a­tive since it kept him from fol­low­ing Christ. He loved his money more than he loved Je­sus.

While many of the psalms and proverbs speak mat­ter-of-factly re­gard­ing the ben­e­fits of wealth and strug­gles of poverty, the Bi­ble is clear that both poverty and wealth can be the will of God and a bless­ing from God. Je­sus lived in rel­a­tive poverty; Solomon was blessed with sig­nif­i­cant wealth. King David had a hum­ble be­gin­ning and a wealthy end­ing. The apos­tles fol­lowed Christ to per­se­cu­tion and mar­tyr­dom; they were not re­garded as wealthy, but they used all they had to share Christ with oth­ers. 3 “Rich and poor have this in com­mon: The Lord is the Maker of them all.” 4

The hu­man per­spec­tive sees wealth as a bless­ing and poverty as a curse. God’s plan is much greater and uses both wealth and poverty to ac­com­plish His will. We are to avoid the temp­ta­tion to see wealth as God’s only bless­ing and in­stead be con­tent in any and ev­ery cir­cum­stance, know­ing that God’s bless­ings are not de­fined by our pos­ses­sions in this world but are found in their full­ness in a king­dom not of this world.

1. NIV

2. NIV

3. See Luke 18:28.

4. Proverbs 22:2 NIV 5. https://gotques­tions.org/poor-vs-rich.html

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.