Neither Poverty nor Riches

Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God (Proverbs 30:8-9).

Cartoon of poor man and rich man begging

Give me neither poverty nor riches...

In life, there are often two ditches. Most of us can see the dangers and downsides of poverty, but riches? It takes real wisdom and faith to see the spiritual dangers lurking in having more than enough.

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3 Responses to Neither Poverty nor Riches

  1. It seems to me that the inherent danger either way is that of putting money before God–looking to money as our salvation, instead of our Creator.

    • Mike Bennett says:

      Thanks, Katherine. Focusing on the material world is definitely a danger for the rich or poor. You got me thinking about who might be immune to this. I wonder if in today’s world, members of the aspiring middle class, who could be comfortable and content, are in danger as well. We are constantly incited to greater material aspirations by advertising and other media and the culture of desire and discontent.

      • I think it loops back around to society’s view that this life is all there is. If this is it, then the only thing that matters is how far “ahead” you get, whether in accomplishment or material goods or fame. This innate discontent manifests itself in materialism, but also in relationships and jobs and all the other areas of life. We are told that we should not be happy until everything is 100% good all the time–whatever your definition of “good” is. So if your friends don’t constantly make you feel good, ditch them and find better. Your spouse sometimes makes mistakes or isn’t always thinking of what you want, you move on to a new spouse. We claim not to like change, but we are constantly looking for ways to feel better about ourselves and look better to everyone else, because how other humans look at us has become our standard of what our worth is.

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