Neither Poverty nor Riches – Hope 103.2

Neither Poverty nor Riches

By David ReayTuesday 4 Dec 2018LifeWords Devotionals

Read Proverbs 30:8-9

8           First, help me never to tell a lie.
                 Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
                 Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9           For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
                 And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. (NLT)

Some followers of Jesus reckon that such faith is a guarantee of material prosperity. Wealth is a sign of God’s favour. Do the right thing by God and he will do the right thing by you. The truth lies elsewhere. God will give us enough with which to be generous. God will enable us to be wise in the use of wealth and this may lead to greater prosperity. But discipleship is not in itself a guarantor of prosperity. Neither Jesus nor the early apostles were materially rich.

Then again, there is no essential virtue in poverty. Following Jesus is not a passport to material deprivation. After all, if none of us had wealth, much Christian ministry would be halted in its tracks. Material wealth can do much good if shared generously.

Our text today seems to strike a sensible balance. Having too much may mean dismissing our need of God. Jesus himself warns against such a danger in his time on earth. Having too little may lead to a life of crime and a pattern of greedy discontent. So our writer reckons it is best to be somewhere in the middle.

Probably best for us to focus on faithfully following Jesus and letting him determine the measure of wealth we have. And whatever measure that may be, we are enabled by him to be generous with it.

David Reay

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