We may not feel rich, but by the standards of the world we are.
If you have a smartphone, you are rich. If you have indoor plumbing, you are rich. If you drive a car, you are rich. If you have a job that pays you enough so you have a roof over your head and enough food to eat, you are rich.
The same is true for nearly everyone who has the means to view this post. But honestly, if you are trying to survive on $2 a day, you are probably not reading these words. Why? You have more important things to consider; like, where your next meal is coming from.
But money is not the answer that cures the ills of this world. Ironically, money kills empathy. Many have been the times that I have heard someone say, “If I won the lottery, I would give half of it to charity,” but they do not mean it. Because I have watched those same persons daily walk by the homeless and not once offer them a sandwich. In reality, money actually makes you less likely to be generous.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
If you are a Christian, you have reason to rejoice even in the worst poverty. The world says, “You are a loser,” but God says, “That is my child.”
You see God does not look at things the way we do. Most people are impressed by those with money. We like the materialism that wealth brings: the toys, the new cars, the big house, the luxury vacations, the jewelry, the 5 star hotel stays, etc. If people did not love this stuff, advertising agencies would disappear. If people did not love celebrities, tabloids would go out of business. If people did not fantasize about getting rich quickly, the casinos and state lotteries would go bust.
Sadly, even within Christendom, people tend to magnify those with money. When a wealthy person starts attending a church, folks make sure the rich person is given special treatment. When someone rich or famous comes to Christ, they trot them out as a new “trophy of grace,” as if to say, “We have celebrities too.” The Scriptures address this partiality, and yes…there is no new thing under the sun…for it as always existed.
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
God is not impressed with any of it. The rich and the poor stand on the same ground before the Lord. Your net worth has no impact on your standing in heaven. There are no second-class members of God’s family. If you have a place to live, a good job and enjoy many comforts, give thanks, but do not boast. Likewise, if you are out of a job, if your health is bad, if you feel forgotten and alone, if you wonder how you will make it, remember that your present condition does not determine your final destination.
Some persons will have an easy road through this life; others a much harder one. But we all arrive at our final destination in the same way…by the grace and mercy of God. In the things that matter most, eternal life and the peace of God, the poorest Christian is wealthier than the richest atheist.
It is not wrong for a Christian to be rich. It is what you do with your money that matters. During the course of church history wealthy Christians have built hospitals, orphanages and clinics wherever such we needed. They have sponsored missionaries, started schools and funded the furtherance of the Gospel. I thank God for wealthy Christians who have a generous spirit and a heart for the cause of Christ. We are just not to boast, or glory, about wealth.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.