Learning to Be Rich

God wants us to know there are particular challenges that come with being poor and particular temptations and responsibilities that come with being rich.

There are few of us who do not have more than enough, few of us who are utterly destitute, and especially when compared to brothers and sisters in so many other nations. Even the poorest of us in the Western world have access to rights and perks others can only dream of. The temptation to pride and false hope is our temptation. The temptation to rely on our wealth instead of on God is very real. The God-given response is for you and me: To do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. This is for us, not for “them.”

 

There is no individual and no group the Bible does not address. Through its pages God speaks to husbands and wives, children and adults, masters and slaves, Jews and Gentiles. As we read the Bible we often find ourselves wondering if and how a particular instruction applies to us. How do I, as a man, deal with a passage targeted at women? How do I, as a Gentile, interpret a passage meant specifically for Jews? What do I do when I read a passage that isn’t really meant for me?

Just as the Bible addresses husbands and wives, children and adults, and so on, it also addresses rich and poor. God wants us to know there are particular challenges that come with being poor and particular temptations and responsibilities that come with being rich. Where do I fit on that scale? Where do you fit? Are we rich or poor? Most of us would say we are poor. After all, we know who the rich are, don’t we? The rich are those two or three families in the church who drive the nicest cars and own the biggest homes. The rich are the people who seminary presidents keep on speed dial for when they need funding for a new library or dormitory. They are the people who go down in history for their great deeds of philanthropy. The verses targeted at rich people are not for you and me, but for them, right?

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