At our family Easter dinner I sat with our nephew, Tyler, a 19 year-old young man full of the joy of youth and the blessing of a tender heart. As part of our conversation, I asked him about his professional plans for the future (what else would a college professor ask about, right?) I listened to him elaborate about his options and alternatives. At the end he wrapped it up with a statement that has stayed with me since. He said, “I don’t need a lot of money to be happy.”
My first reaction when I heard Ty said that was laughter. I remember I told him, “well, just be very careful who you choose as your wife because she may not feel the same way.” WOW! how profound…of all the things I could have said, that’s what I came up with…
Today I realize that the reason I said that was because of me. I thought of myself and how I would not have chosen a husband who would think that way. The hypothetical “future wife” that came to mind was a woman who would think like me, and who would value the same things I value. I was thinking of a woman who, like me, would value more the material world than the precious heart of a good, godly man. Yeah…I feel convicted to say the least.
There are countless passages in the Bible about the poor and the rich. In all of them, it is the rich who comes out at the bottom. I have been thinking about this, and I see that in the Bible, the poor many times refers to those who are indeed hungry for the Lord. Therefore, they are those who long for the spiritual riches that only God can provide. Their hunger can only be satisfied by a Spirit that overflows their soul, and ultimately, by being in the presence of the Most High in Heaven. The poor are those who live by the Spirit.
The rich are those who live by the material world and whose only pursuit is that of wealth and worldly living. Whereas being “poor” or a person who lives by the Spirit leads to a life free from the snares of money, being “rich” or a person who lives by the material world only leads to slavery. The rich are enslaved to a pursuit of things that can never satisfy. The riches they are after can never fill their souls because our souls are spiritual and meant to be filled by God. Therefore, chasing after the world only leaves them wanting more. Their reward is on earth and they don’t go joyfully to the grave. They go with resentment for they never surrendered their journey to He who is in charge. Not only that, but they live their lives away from faith and easily fall in the path of evil and misery, like we read in 1 Timothy 6: 10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Today, as I meditate on my nephew’s statement, I realize how my own desire for the material has warped my vision and my ability to appreciate the simplicity of contentment. I praise God for him and I pray He will guide Ty as he pursues what really matters...