I know that we have all heard the saying, "All that glitters is not gold," or even "don't judge a book by its cover." Outward appearances can indeed be deceiving. A person may be thought of as well off; they may bustle about and proudly make a great show of spending like there is no tomorrow to save for, and yet if all of their obligations were paid off, they would be penniless. Another may be incredibly blessed by God in temporal wealth, but in meanness of spirit would rather live below what He has given them, and be thought of as poor. In this way, that person is a poor steward, just like the first person: he or she is even showing ingratitude to God, because the blessings are not freely and cheerfully shared.
Verse 8 continues to speak about wealth but in a different way: if riches have their advantage, poverty has an advantage, too! The poor man doesn't have to worry about being robbed, or being required to pay a ransom! When the Hebrew nation was taken captivity to Babylon, they actually left the poor people behind: In II Kings 25:12, it says "But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen." That simply means that they thought the poor people weren't worth the trouble, so they left them behind, to tend the land!
Real wealth, pretended wealth.....hmmm. I think I would rather be spiritually rich, wouldn't you? I mean rich in grace. That is God's biggest and best gift to us --- the grace (unmerited favor) that caused Him to send His Son to die in our place, and save us from our sins. I think to be truly rich is to have the riches of the soul, and receive His grace, then gift it again to those around us. I hope that all of you have received His greatest Gift.