Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There is a saying that it is harder for a rich man to get to heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. I think this is true, not because rich=mean, but because when you do have a lot of resources and have neither the guidance nor have the wisdom or humility to handle it well, you do end up with a lot of blind spots in your character, social relationships and take on life in general. If you use worldly wealth to measure where you are at in life, there is the danger of being gravely mistaken. Better to look a few steps deeper inside.

In general, having a handful of honest and down-to-earth friends who love you enough to tell you the truth about yourself would help, but being rich often attracts the sort of person who would tell you the opposite (i.e. flatter you) and would never tell you the truth about your weaknesses. In fact, they might exacerbate your flaws. If you are prideful, you would even choose to have friends like that so that you might not need to face the fact that there are things you need to work on. Ideally, rich or poor, we should seek out mentors who possess good character and relationships to learn from and model, rather than look to the next rich guy as the authority on life because of the stuff he owns.

I'm not saying that you need to reject wealth or that poverty is good, but just saying put ambition and being "rich" in perspective. Oftentimes, "rich" is relative even. There are those who live in big houses, own extra property, yet they feel they are not rich enough and make themselves miserable trying to get more. In their discontent, they hurt people around them and ignore the loved ones who make their lives meaningful in the first place. I've also met people who are "rich" and yet have so little to offer society, with little integrity or compassion. They are blind to the needs of others because they are focused on satiating themselves only.

Being "rich" sometimes gives you the idea that you have got it made while the rest of the world does not. This pride only prevents you from reflecting on your own weaknesses, learning to seek help, learning from others, respecting each human being, and being able to humble yourself before true power and greatness.

This is not a tirade against people of any social group, but just to appreciate the lot of people-rich, less rich and poor- who are humble and compassionate, and are good stewards of what they have. No matter if they have little or a lot, they use it well to see to the needs of their family and of strangers quietly and privately, for the glory of the one who gave them what they have.

1 comment:

  1. i see lots of the simple humble ppl in church, and it does have a lot of impact when you see how they give alot out of their little - be it with time, affection or money.

    for me, in one sentence: more often than not, being rich makes you feel like that's good enough.

    btw, u got my email reply right. update you more again.