2 The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.
4 True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.
As I’ve been reading through each chapter of Proverbs, there is one nugget of wisdom that I bump into every now and then. It goes something like this – There is a way that seems right to a person, but God examines the heart, or looks at the motive. One of the meanings behind that is we may have moral actions, but God sees what your real motive is behind that. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but there are many times when I read something like that I don’t even consider for a second that that could be me. Moi?? Never! But yes…my motives are not necessarily the best. For example…
For the past couple of months, a friend and I go out every Thursday afternoon to prayer-walk throughout a neighbourhood near our church. About fifty percent of this neighbourhood is lower income, where people live in substandard housing. Our desire is to interact with the people, not just walk through their ‘hood’. So today, we purchased fruit, bagged it, and went knocking on doors to bless them with bags of fruit and if they were open, to pray for them. We had some great encounters with people and that made my day.
We returned to the church after we were finished and spent some time praying. It was then I had this sense that God had a question for me: “Why are you doing this?” That was it, but I could tell that the question was more like, “So tell me, why are you REALLY doing this? Is it because you’re a ‘pastor’ and it’s your job? Or is it because you want to get more people in the church? Or it’s one of your programs? Tell me something…would you do it if you weren’t a pastor and the church you attended didn’t hand out bags of fruit?” That’s what it sounded like to me. And yes…I was busted! So when I prayed, I asked God to help me have a heart that wants to do this simply because they are people just like me, and giving out a little bit of sunshine never hurt anybody.
You see, that’s the point about the two verses for today, all of creation, and especially humanity, is dependent on God to provide for us. There’s nothing wrong with being rich, unless it causes you to see yourself as better than other people, including those living in subsidized housing, the panhandler at the intersection, or the homeless. ALL of us are dependent on God for our needs. There is no such thing as a ‘self-made person’. Every human bears God’s image. Every human being stands on level ground. Every human being is loved by God.
So whether you’re rich or poor, or somewhere in between…and because all of us are dependent on God for the very air we breathe, let us live our lives with humble attitudes and generous hearts towards one another. Let’s journey together through this life.