RICH OR POOR? I may be wrong but there seems to be a greater emphasis on the financial status of people today than there was when I was growing up. Maybe that is because the place where I grew up people seemed to have more interests than just what they could buy or what they could possess. Or maybe our parents were just so busy trying to earn a living and provide for the family we didn’t have time to dwell on rich or poor but rather just lived our lives and loved each other and the people around us. I guess we were poor and just didn’t realize it or maybe we were really rich and didn’t realize that either. I don’t remember really thinking about whether we were better off than other people or whether we were worse off than other people. We seemed to accept each other the way we were; some had more and some had less. Then, maybe I was just too dumb to realize the way the world really was. Sometimes, I guess, ignorance is bliss.

What led me to share all that was this, “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all,” (Proverbs 22:2 NIV). God has allowed some people to become rich and He has allowed others to be poor but the bottom line is both have derived their existence, their very being, from the same God and God has allowed their lot in life. Those regarded great in life must acknowledge God and His work in their life as must the poor person. The rich must acknowledge that God did not grant them riches in an honest manner to squander on their selfish desires but rather to benefit their fellow human beings for “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) and is to be used for God’s glory. The poor must acknowledge that God is at work in their life as well and allows their place in life for His own purposes that we may not always understand. Even the Apostle Paul experienced times of both little and plenty in life and told us that regardless of circumstances we must depend on God for contentment (Philippians 4:11-13) and through Jesus we can have victory in life with little or much. I must agree that it seems to be better with much instead of little but appearances can be deceiving. Does that mean that the poor should remain poor or the rich should remain rich? Not at all; when you read the Bible there are many passages that deal with these issues. One thing is certain though and that is that there is no place in life for pride because the wealth and position one may have attained honestly is by God’s grace and is to be used to benefit others. Both rich and poor will one day stand before their Maker and answer for the life He has granted them. Life begins with God and Life ends with each of us standing before God to answer for the life He has granted us. At that time will we be rich or poor in God’s eyes?

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