Poor With God Better Than Rich Without

Rich & Poor

Image by KJGarbutt via Flickr

Proverbs 15:16

Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

The temptation is to believe that money is the way to happiness, but we’ve all seen miserable rich people and joyful folks with little wealth.  So there has to be something else.  Clearly joy comes from a love-filled life and I would argue that having the love of God is enough to fill each of us to overflowing.

“Fear of the Lord” is a phrase most used to describe a reverent and awestruck attitude towards God.  He literally has the universe in his hand and the power to bless or curse anything and everything.  Yet he takes the time and effort to love us with all that might.  So having little in terms of material possessions is of little consequence.

On the other hand, with much wealth comes much responsibilities.  Or as P-Diddy would say, mo’ money, mo’ problems.  People’s incomes and livelihoods become your responsibility.  Pressure increases and opportunities to make a mess of things seem to multiply exponentially.  Even when things are going relatively well, the stress of holding all that together can be overwhelming.

Now, even though Jesus talks about how it is easier to fit a camel through the whole of a needle than it is for a rich man to believe, he doesn’t say that it is necessary to be poor to be a believer.  In fact, I would argue that the best way for a rich man to handle the stress is to fear the Lord and lean heavily on his guidance.  It is important to be a good steward of what God’s given you, but not at the expense of compromising your Faith and values.

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