I love Mondays. You see, I have Mondays off. So I get to kind of relax as I spend time with the Lord in his word. There’s (usually) no distractions and no work to go too. As I sat down on the couch this afternoon, I looked around our apartment and said, “Lord, you have given us so much stuff. We aren’t poor.”
Carly and I both have average-paying jobs — and I work part-time at our local French retailer, Target — but we have more than, not just the average person in the world, but probably the average American. We are truly “blessed.” I was truly humbled as I sat there and stared at all this stuff in our living room. I said, “Lord, I praise you that we can afford to have the lights on.” You know what else is humbling? I get two days a week off. Most people get one. Some people don’t get any.
After reading the Scriptures, I read chapter 5 in Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love. He wrote about the exact thing I was meditating on. Francis writes:
Which is more messed up — that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves “broke” or “poor”? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich.
Francis goes on to talk about how this hurts us spiritually:
The reality is that, whether we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually. As William Wilberforce once said, “Prosperity hardens the heart.”
Understanding that we aren’t poor, but rich — filthy rich — starts in the heart. Do I want to prosper materially or spiritually? What do I really want? Of course I need to eat and sleep and wear clothes. I need a car and I need to put gas in it. God understands this. But where is my hope and energy and adoration going? I pray that everyday it goes to God, not because he gives stuff, but because he is the only thing that will give me satisfaction.
Prosperity hardens our hearts because it causes us to depend on our money and stuff and not God. If we daily lack food and clothes and shelter, we will be on our knees begging God for help. I don’t need to do that. But I want to be on my knees thanking God for what he has given and begging him for his mercy because all I deserve is hell and damnation. When that sobering truth is on your mind, you will never say, “I’m poor.”