December 7, 2012
Those who live in America are blessed just to be able to live in such a great country. Most have no idea just how blessed they are because they have not seen other countries and those who are not blessed.
Here in American those who don’t feel blessed make that judgment based by comparing themselves with other blessed people here in the same country.
Yes there are many in need in this country. There are homeless people, people who go hungry and those who are destitute.
But one of the most amazing things about America is that we have the resources and the blessing of God covering the land so that positive change can happen quickly. We have the freedom to get help and help is available.
If you need to get an education to get a job there are programs to help you do that. But you must be willing to put the effort in to go to class and do the work. If you need food there are food pantries and food stamps to get you by until better times. But that doesn’t relieve your responsibility to learn to make the most of those resources.
If you lose your job we have unemployment. If you lose your house we have bankruptcy and if you keep your credit clean for 2 years you can buy another house. We are truly the land of resources if one looks for them.
In the world and America too, there have always been those who have great wealth and those who have almost no money at all.
But here in America one thing that has always made it unique is that there was open opportunity to gain wealth and rise above where you were at.
There are countless stories, thousands in fact, of people who grew up in poverty, had nothing and no education who became wealthy. It was because of so many achieving success in that way that the county remained a country of hope. There was no despair regardless of where you were, hard work and faith would take you higher.
Of course there is always jealousy. If one person rises to the top after discovering a new business or invention and another didn’t, human nature has a tendency to become angry and jealous.
When a person becomes jealous that another succeeded and they didn’t, they often label the wealthy person as greedy. That idea has stuck. For years the wealthy have been scorned for being – greedy, the middle class are honored for being – content and the poor pitied and fawned over for being – victims.
But I’m not sure that is how God sees them.
Just because someone has money does not make them greedy. The definition of greed is: Intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food. My guess is it is more accurate to say that those who do not have are far greedier than those who do have.
My point is that many of the poor may be a victim of their own greed.
In Luke 19:11-27 Jesus talks about a parable where a king instructs his servants to take what they have been given and gain more. In the New International Version it says, “Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.”
When he returns one servant took his ten minas and gained ten more. He was praised for the wealth he had obtained and made ruler over 10 cities. The second servant was faithful with what he had been given and was praised for the wealth he had obtained and made ruler over 5 cities.
But the last servant did nothing at all with the mina he had been given. He wrapped it in a cloth and hid it away. He didn’t even put it in the bank to draw interest. He was scolded for being fearful.
I believe it was also easy to just wrap up the mina and give it back to the king when he returned. It took no effort at all. I would venture to say that he might have been a little lazy because he didn’t even put forth the effort to go put it in the bank.
So the king told them to take away the one mina that he had and give it to the one who had ten. There was a cry of outrage because the one whom the king gave it to already had ten! I believe they saw the one with ten as being the greedy enemy and the one with one as being the victim.
But here is what was said by the king in the end…
26) “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.