Meditations by John Dean

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Poor Rich People

(Matthew 13:22 KJV) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 

In order for one to live a happy successful life they must first learn how to avoid ‘seed chokers’. Receiving the seed is not the problem…the problem is having something more dominant in one’s life that can choke the seed.

According to our text the ‘seed chokers’ are the “cares of this world” (anxiety) and the “deceitfulness of riches”, (that which promises to give peace and pleasure but does not). That being the case I want to focus on one of the ‘seed chokers’… the “deceitfulness of riches.”

First of all it is important to note that riches are not the issue. The issue is the false expectations that often come with riches.

Among the many benefits, wealth should not only help make one’s life a little easier, but it also gives one the ability to help others who are in need. The deceitfulness of riches happens when one believes that somehow it sets them apart from others. Regardless of one’s wealth, their personal growth still comes from walking a disciplined life and learning from life’s tests in the same way as everyone else.

If there was something wrong with wealth then God would not have given us the power to get wealth. “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18 KJV).

Wealth itself is not deceitful…the deceit comes when one believes that it is a cure-all for everything in life. False pride and power that often come as a result of having wealth are the real ‘seed chokers’.

I have actually known several wealthy people who would make excellent poor people because they always talked about not having enough. They seemed to spend rich but talk poor.

Over the last few weeks I have written several articles about an experience I recently had while visiting a large 17th century home in England. This home is no doubt one of the ‘must see’ homes in England for those who are visiting the UK.

From the outside this home is massive, breathtaking and beautiful and had the appearance of the very wealthy, but on the inside it looked as if it was decorated by the poor. The moldings, furnishings, paintings and lighting are sub par to say the least, and does not match the massiveness of the outside. This family also seemed to be a collector of unimportant things, rather than being collectors of priceless paintings, furnishings and so on like the other wealthy folks of that time period.

Through this experience the Lord seemed to reiterate to me that it is not what is on the outside that determines one’s value, but what is on the inside. Perhaps this is part of what our text meant by using the term, “deceitfulness of riches.” Could it be that true riches are not determined by what one has but who one is?

Our desire is not just to have the appearance of sufficiency on the outside, we want to be laden with the fruit of Your Spirit on the inside and as well as on the outside…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and faith.

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