Poverty, Wealth, and Loyalty

It always amazes me where inspiration comes from.  Often times I find that throughout a normal, and seemingly unimportant, conversation I get hit with a single line thought that ends up erupting into either a long blog post or a song.  Bang, pow, out of nowhere.  God is amazing isn’t He?

So talking with my parents the other day, I don’t even remember about what, but I had a line thought that I texted myself so I would remember it.  Here’s what that text says: “If you can’t trust God in poverty, how would you honor God in wealth?”  There’s a thought for you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things, and thought things, like “If I just had more money, I would….” insert your own ideas there.  Some are innocent and good like paying off the church mortgage or paying off your house mortgage so you can spend more money helping people.

And really, any spending is going to help people.  If you buy things at all your giving more business, the more business the more profit for businesses, the more profit and more business received the more employees they hire and the more they can pay said employees, and so on.  Too often we think that the only way to help someone is directly, when really helping their place of employment helps them more than giving them $20…it keeps them employed.

I’m no stranger to living on a shoestring budget.  And no, I don’t like it.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who does, and I doubt that I ever will.  That being said, I have had times in my life where we’ve had more than enough money to make ends meet and have fun.  I can honestly say that during those times I prayed less, read the Bible less, and relied on God less than I have when I haven’t had money.

As a Christian with no money you tend to rely on God for everything, and this is good.  It’s really how we should be, in reliance and constant contact with our God and Savior.  But all too often people think that they could do so much more for the kingdom of God if God would just give them more money.  “I wouldn’t have to worry so much, so I could be out there making a better impact if I just didn’t have to struggle financially.”  And yes, I’ve thought that thought a lot.

Ever hit the wall and say “there’s just no way we’re paying this bill this month.”?  I have.  If you struggle trusting God to provide for a $50 cell phone bill what makes you think that you’ll be praising His name and giving credit to Jesus when you can supply all your needs and desires without asking Him for anything?  Chances are, you’ll be like the rest of us and believe that you made it happen and God had nothing to do with it.  When you believe that, you don’t honor God, you spit in His face.  Sadly, I’ve spit in God’s face too many times.

With this in mind, I praise Christ for my struggles.  Why?  Because not only has He delivered me from the wages of sin, but He also provides a means for my family and I to survive.  It’s plain to see.  When I crunch the numbers we simply don’t make enough money to pay all the bills, keep gas in the cars, and keep food in our bellies.  But we do, and we do it without racking up debt.  No, my math isn’t just “that bad,” God provides; there’s simply no other explanation.

So the next time you talk to God about how much better the world would be if you made more money, think – if I can’t trust God in my lack of wealth, how can I honor God with an abundance of wealth?  It might just change how you view your circumstances.

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