Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poor Me?

I think every Christian, at one time or another, has been challenged and scared to death by Jesus' call for the rich young ruler to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and come follow him. Surely that couldn't apply to me - right? I tried to make the point last Sunday that we are all rich - in spite of the fact we don't think we are. I believe it's because we compare ourselves to those who are richer - people WE call rich - and conclude that we would be rich if we had what they had! We don't - so we're not - we think. I guess that's comforting and somehow allows us to avoid guilt, materialism, greed, selfishness, and being stingy.
Paul's closing words to Timothy in his first letter should be comforting to us. He said, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain." (6:17) He didn't say, "get rid of it" or "give it away" or "you're going to Hell." There were wealthy people in the church and he just wanted them to be warned that with wealth comes special challenges and temptations. Arrogance and a false sense of security! I am intrigued by the warning against arrogance. Is that pride, or is it feelings of superiority, or is it selfishness? Yes. Here are some of the signs of arrogance - just a sampling.
1. If I had more money, I would be a better giver.
2. That worship service didn't do anything for me!
3. My spouse is not meeting my needs.
4. I plan to live to a ripe old age.
5. If everybody drove their cars like I do, the world would be a better place.
6. We NEED a bigger storage unit!
7. God should have healed my loved one!
8. I'm irreplaceable!
9. I'm never home, but I'm building a better future for my family.
10.There's always tomorrow.

I'm glad I've never said any of these. Oops! There's number eleven.

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