Monday, November 14, 2011

To Be Rich and Poor: Part 3

Then he said, “I beg you therefore father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”
Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”
And he said, “No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”
But he said to him, “if they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” – Luke 16:27-31

Today’s Reading: Luke 16:19-31

Why do we wait for something extreme to happen before we decide to listen?

The reason why is because we are too focused on ourselves to see what is going on with other people in the world. I don’t say this to minimize our problems. Many of us are dealing with extremely challenging circumstances. Our economy has crashed, homes are being foreclosed on, many people who looked down upon the homeless have become homeless themselves.

And still there are many of us who still have jobs, still have homes and the luxuries of American living and we ask ourselves, why couldn’t they have been smarter? Why did they sign those terrible loan agreements? Why didn’t they go to college or get better training? Just as it is I who provided for my own success these folks experiencing challenges have made the beds they are laying in...

I hear this so much from Christians that if not for the grace of God I would be so mad at the world and the church that I’d have nothing to do with either.

Must we all fail to understand that those who need help are just like us? Must we all experience hard times before we can understand that maybe, just maybe, folks who are struggling don’t “deserve” their plight any more than we “deserve” our blessings?

Sure, many have made mistakes but so have we. Does that mean that they must go hungry for them? Are their hardships a commentary on their character? Is our relative success a commentary on ours?


In the same way that Lazarus did not get to heaven because he was poor or the rich man to hell because he was rich our circumstances don’t say much about the condition of our spirits.

What speaks to the condition of our spirits is our willingness to love one another as ourselves, our willingness to be the light of the world, the beacon by which others can find God in the content of our lives and actions.

Food for Thought: What can we do to love our neighbors who are experiencing tough financial times? Do we have a responsibility to do anything?

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