Are you rich or poor? (Generous or stingy) (Content or unsatisfied)
How would you answer the question, “Are you rich or poor?” I think that there are two basic ways that you could figure out the answer. The first approach would be to “add up” all that you own (i.e. money, toys, house, family, etc.) and then “look around”, see if you have more or less than the people around you do. You would probably notice that some people have more than you do and some people have less than you do. If you have “enough,” then you are “rich.” If you don’t have “enough,” then you are “poor.” The trouble with this approach is that it’s very subjective and relative. This type of comparison will always lead you to think that you are poor and you will never be content. One HUGE example of this is that as we live in the United States, we are the RICHEST people in the world! BUT when I look around and see someone else with a bigger house, nicer car or newer phone all of the sudden, I feel “poor!”
I recommend another approach. When you are asked, “Are you rich or poor?” Don’t look around and compare yourself to others (this game of comparison will only end in disappointment). Instead, “look up!” Look up to your loving Father, God who has given you the keys to the kingdom. Look to your Savior, Jesus who has given you forgiveness of sins, life and salvation! Look to the Holy Spirit who fills you with his gifts of love, joy, peace and hope! As we look to God first, then we can realize how blessed and rich we truly are!
I’ve known people who are “rich” by earthly standards, but who live lives that are vacant and hopeless. I also know people who are “dirt poor,” but who are banking on the immeasurable riches of God’s grace through Jesus Christ! When we focus on the blessings that God has provided for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, THEN we can begin to enjoy the earthly blessings of His love and to be truly content with His grace and mercy!
Jesus was rich. All of the heavenly riches were his! Yet, Jesus wanted to share the riches of his love with you! Jesus took on the “poorness” of our sin and gives us the “richness” of His love and mercy! “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 2:9) Jesus lowered himself to be born. He became obedient under the law to make us rich! He became obedient even to death on a cross to give us the riches of being forgiven and restored to God’s family! You are rich in Jesus’ love!
Living in the richness of Jesus’ love!