photo Untitled-3_zpsca3d0e00.jpg       photo facebook42_zps23462b59.jpg       photo linkedin42_zps5309c455.jpg       photo tumblr42_zps1fc0d92f.jpg       photo twitter42_zps201c16bf.jpg

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Haves and Have-nots

I Timothy 6: 7-10 (KJV)“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
I purposely opened this passage of Scripture tonight to remind me some very important life lessons straight from God’s Word. It specifically talks about contentment – that state of mind where you feel satisfied with what you have. I think contentment encompasses a lot of different aspects, whether it be material, physical, emotional, and spiritual. In this post, I am gonna talk more about the MATERIAL aspect.

Lately, God placed me in a situation that tested this. Our generation right now is so bombarded via media about the latest trends in fashion, gadgets, phones, bags, places, and anything under the sun! A prominent tactic for advertising is by “word-of-mouth” which is a.k.a. Instagram/Twitter/Facebook feed! It’s very easy to be updated about what’s in and what’s not cause you get to see it all the time as you keep scrolling down – bringing about feelings of covetousness and envy. I’m not saying that I haven’t fallen to this trap before. I have (a couple of times, actually). It’s just so unfortunate that it’s already so common to hear people complain about the things they don’t have, rather than appreciate what they have at the present.

As a Christian, I don’t think it’s wrong to buy the things you want. Having the privilege to finally own something you desire so much is so emotionally impactful and amazing! (Even opening the box is a thrilling adventure in itself!) What’s wrong about is if you’re driven to buy something just to “fit in”, “prove yourself to other people”, or satiate your craving for something that another person has, neglecting that this gratification is only but temporary. This vicious cycle can eat you up by the day, and could get worse as you have more resources to buy. Just like the verse in the passage, “they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts…”. ‘Rich’ doesn’t necessarily imply that those who have the cash will always end up succumbing to materialism. They do not. If you base on other stories found in the Bible such as the story of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21, the characteristics of the ‘rich man’ here points out to the characteristics of the “materialistic” man in our modern society.

If you are financially rich and able, then thank God for entrusting that responsibility to you. If you are working hard to be able to reach financial stability, then praise God for opportunities He has given you in order to reach that goal. However, it is always important to remember that whether your situation is in the former or in the latter, loving money too much will ultimately lead you to dark pathways of sin, especially covetousness and envy. It is also in this love that a Christian can be led to “err from the faith”. Lastly, it could lead to some people “piercing themselves through many sorrows”... which I think logically means drowning oneself in feelings of insecurity and insufficiency to the point that it’s a struggle. Consider this, it’s not “force-fed”, or “poked”, or even “pricked”. The Bible used the term PIERCED as a way to describe how people, like you and me, can be so savage and barbarous just to have what we think we need to have.

I’ve come across a lot of people in school and in church who have been such great examples in appreciating what’s in my pocket. Oftentimes I find myself feeling off cause I don’t have enough savings to eat somewhere nice then out of the blue, I hear someone sharing about how he recently tried Nestle icecream (In my mind I said, “WHAT?!!! GRABE!!!”). Or that one time where I talked about how I said that our school is inferior to other schools cause our tuition is way way cheaper, then after a day, I heard about someone quitting school cause they couldn’t afford all the fees. Another recent instance was when I just casually shared about my phone being so old, when in another person’s situation, that was just the least of their problems! My dad always reminds us, “Do not complain about your laptops getting so lagged, some people don’t even have computer access.” Yup, he’s right. Looking back, I can say that I’m so pathetic, insensitive, and so full of “First world problems”. 

Cliché as it may be, the way we came into this world is the same way we will come out. We will be bringing absolutely nothing with us in eternity. God has blessed us with the basics: food, raiment, shelter, and of course, family and friends. If you think about it long and hard, all these are even more than enough to suffice! If you add God’s love on top of all these, everything else will fade in comparison. Thank God for every blessing that will come your way. You might not be in-style, but you can most definitely be an epitome of gratefulness to the people around you. :-)

A thought to ponder: Always remember that what you have materially will not make you WHO YOU TRULY ARE AS A PERSON. Your iPhone, your laptop, your shoes, are just all but cover-ups. When all these are taken away, then WHO ARE YOU?

No comments:

Post a Comment