Neither Poverty or Riches. Just give me Jesus.

“[When I die] if I leave behind me ten pounds … you and all mankind [may] bear witness against me, that I have lived and died a thief and a robber.” ~ John Wesley

“It’s not a sin to be rich.  It’s a sin to die rich” ~ Rick Warren

“…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’ Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
~ Proverbs 30:8-9

A news story caught my attention last week.  Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder recently gave away his $5 million dollar fortune.  He’s quoted as saying that, “money is counterproductive — it prevents happiness to come.”  He auctioned off his house and plans to live off a set-income, in a small cabin; quite a step down from his spacious multi-million dollar villa.  He’s donated the money to charities in Central and South America.  Check out the story here.

This is a great reminder that wealth & material possessions do not bring happiness.  Of course that is not to say that wealth is bad.  What we desperately need is men & women who are like Paul when he says, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11-13)

True contentment comes not through poverty, nor in riches.  There are as many unhappy poor people as there are unhappy rich people.  As Christians we need not preach the “prosperity gospel” or the “poverty gospel”.  What this world needs is the Gospel.  The good news that true freedom, happiness, contentment comes through Christ Jesus, through whom we receive the love of God.

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