You May Be Richer Than You Think
Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both. (Proverbs 22:1-2, NLT)
When I visited my brother not long ago, we had a conversation about which restaurant in town would be a good place to eat. He named a couple, but he mentioned one particularly. He said once the woman’s group from the church ate in this restaurant and a stranger paid for their entire meal. When they finished eating and asked for the bill, they were told it was all paid. The cashier motioned to a table at which a man sat and ate alone. My brother said the man wore shabby clothes, shorts, and sandals. He didn’t look to be a rich man.
Most often when we see, read, or hear words such as “the rich” we mentally relate it to people with wealth as in financial assets, a luxury lifestyle and expensive possessions (homes, cars, yachts, airplanes), or to big business owners and CEOs. In the same token, we relate words such as “the poor” or “the needy” to people who have little in financial assets or possessions. But it should not be. Contrary to what most people think, rich people don’t really care what they wear in public and many of them don’t own expensive possessions. The man who paid for the meal could be anyone. He might be rich, he might be poor. Because people can be rich in many things and not necessarily only in financial assets and possessions.
“A good reputation… and high esteem” do not always come to people with great wealth and massive possessions, but also to those who are rich in love, generosity, kindness, faithfulness, services, and other things. I can think of Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr…. even the President of the United States and countless others who have great respect and honor by millions of people. Many of them are not wealthy in financial assets or possessions but are wealthy in many other things and in the virtues of life.
You may be richer than you think, just not in wealth and possessions. And to be rich in other things may be better than silver and gold, particularly in reputation and esteem. Consider what you have in the asset list below, underline each one that you have and add your own to the list. If you underline more than ten with add-ons, you are rich.
Asset List: A job today, a retirement account, a retirement income, a regular pay check, own your own home, food on the table every day, a place to call home, a car to take you where I want to go when you want to go, good health, a loving family, love, loved, joy, peace, faithfulness, hopefulness, prayerfulness, generosity, kindness, services, free time to spend with family and help others, vast knowledge/wisdom, knowledge of God and the Bible, friends, talents, little or no debts, little or no worry about life now, and …. (add on the list).
Lord, how blessed I feel today that I am rich. Teach me how to share the abundance you have given me that I may be a blessing to others. Lead me to where there are needs that I may help and be a witness for your Son Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.