What's in your wallet?
True wealth is not of the pocket, but of the heart and of the mind.
I'd have to say there are a whole lot of 'posers' in this world today - people who proclaim great wealth and tend to 'flaunt it' a little at times. These same people are oftentimes poor in the true sense of the word - deficient, lacking, impoverished in the spiritual and emotional realm. Why is it that material wealth really doesn't satisfy us all that well? I think it is because we are made as 'tri-part' beings - body, soul, and spirit. All have to be fulfilled for their to be a true balance in life. We cannot neglect the spirit and feed only the body or soul. One cannot exist without the other. Wealth does little to feed the spirit, while it oftentimes overfeeds the body and soul. There is a lot of pretense in life, but we cannot pretend to have a healthy spirit apart from it being indwelt by the Spirit of God.
Great wealth isn't found in our pocketbooks or wallets. It is found in the heart of a man - spirit motivated by the inner working of God's love, peace, and grace. Therein we find true wealth - greater than the wealth we might put on display for others to see. It matters not if you live in a cardboard box or a palatial mansion - how are things with your soul - your mind, will, and emotions? Are they in balance? Are they whole because God's Spirit has touched them, making them whole and healthy? If not, the wealth you have is probably temporary and will soon depart when adversity comes your way.
Why is it God's kids seem to flourish in times of uncertainty and greater adversity? It isn't that they have a secret stash of foodstuff in the root cellar or stockpiles of money in the mattresses. It is that they know where their true provision comes - from the throne room of God himself. They have learned to trust not in things seen, but in things unseen. So many of us attempt to fill some empty part of our lives with things that won't really endure when the hard things must be faced. We are going to be emotionally bankrupt in short order when our trust is placed in such things.
As I write these words today, I know some will quickly defend their 'position' by pointing out they 'know God', but let me just say to each of us - if our trust is more in what we see and hold, then we are trusting in the wrong thing. We can have divided trust - it is possible to put our trust in God, but put trust in 'things' and 'positions', as well. That is why the rich young ruler had such a hard time with what Jesus told him to do when he asked him how he could experience eternal life. Jesus' response actually put a hurdle in his way that he could not jump over.
What was Jesus' response? Sell what you have, give it to the poor, and come follow me. How many of us can say we really understand the struggle the young ruler had at that moment? He had told Jesus he had kept the commandments, honored his parents, and remained faithful to his wife. Why would Jesus ask him to sell his possessions and give them to the poor? It was because Jesus knew where the man 'anchored' his faith - in what he had amassed. The scripture tells us he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16-30)
Jesus may not be asking us to part with our physical riches, but he is asking us to consider how much faith we place in them, or our own ability to obtain them. His purpose in asking us to take notice of where we place our faith is because if there is anything else in the center of our trust other than him, we will live truly unfulfilled and empty lives. Just sayin!