Thursday, February 28, 2013

Proverbs 29:13 One leg at a time

I can remember my "favorite" grandpa very fondly . . . sometimes we kids would be carping and complaining about another kid who (in our opinion) had it better than we did. We would extol the benefits of his or her life in contrast to our own -- I'm sure we made it sound as if the other child was somehow better than we were, as a result. Our grandpa's eyes would twinkle through the pipe smoke as he exhaled and drawled, "Well, you know, they're not really any different than anybody else. They put on their pants...." and we would say in unison, "one - leg - at - a - time!"  In his own way, he was reminding us that, especially in God's eyes, there is a great deal of "same-ness" among the members of the human race.

 The poor and the oppressor have this in common--the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.

I wanted to add this verse that we studied before . . .

Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

I wonder if sometimes the opulence and splendor of his palace made Solomon repeat this concept in his proverbs? I'm sure that as he went out of the palace and moved among his people, that the stark contrast between the way some of them lived, and the way that he lived, was very obvious, and perhaps gave him pause to consider.

Again in this verse, he has reminded us of the "sameness" of the human race --- it does not matter if we are rich or poor, powerful or weak, we are all in need of God's love, and His touch in our hearts and lives. Once He has touched us, we will open our hearts to others.

We can see around us people who have not yet realized this. Just as the writer of Ecclesiastes did:
"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  -Ecclesiastes 5:10
Paul reminds us of this, in the New Testament:
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."  I Timothy 6:17-19
The life that is truly life . . .
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have."
-Hebrews 13:5
And it's not just about the money, either.

Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Are we focused on living our lives for Christ? (Not focused on other people, and the differences in our blessings?) Are we using what He gives us as good stewards? Laying up treasures? Which kind?

1 comment:

Belinda said...

This must be one of the hardest things to overcome. We often wonder why someone else has been blessed more than we are. It's hard to accept that there are reasons for everything and God has His own plan. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

Being content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in is truly challenging. It's human nature to want more, or at least want as much as our neighbor. It's something I struggle with. My husband is one of the most contented people I've ever known. He never talks about something he wants but can't have, never seems to envy someone with more than us, never wants a better anything than what we already have. I so do wish I was like that!!