Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do We Really Need To Be Rich To Be Happy?

Tonight I was looking at our local news station's website, and saw an article about SEK (Southeast Kansas) women and poverty.  This is part of an ongoing series about poverty in the SEK area that has been coordinated, it seems anyway, between the news station and our local newspaper.

Maybe I'm not seeing things through the same lens as the news teams.  I don't care much if I have a lot of money or barely enough to cover necessities.  

Our area has a university, which attracts money, and then the outlaying population that is low income.  It's a stark contrast between the two.  Unfortunately more than money seems to separate the two worlds that exist here.

I've had opportunity through various events to meet some people who work in the university setting.  While most are nice, there are a few who are a little farther up the chain and put on an air of high society, and then the hangers on who follow the high society crowd.  I've not been too impressed.  

I've also had opportunity to meet folks in the opposite end of the spectrum, who have been homeless, or had to rely on food banks and meager Social Security payments to support themselves (retired), or who work long hours at low wage jobs and just can't make the bills after paying over half of the paycheck to rent and another quarter to daycare.  

Throughout my life, I've been closer to the lower end of the spectrum.  Despite the sad outlook the news here puts on not having money flowing out the ears and a purse overstuffed in cash, I am fine with not having much in the bank.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to shop for whatever we wanted, not have to worry about the cost, plunk down a few hundred dollars on a new dress or a suit or furniture, but in reality, those aren't necessities.  Those don't bring joy.  Those don't matter on the other side of heaven.  Sure, new things would bring a little happiness for a short time, but eventually the newness wears off.  I'd be fine with being able to go to the grocery store and buying beef without having to go to the cheapest cut and making it stretch a long long way.  I'd love to buy a $10 a pound steak and make my husband a special meal with as much as he could eat and be satisfied.  Once in a great while I kinda look longingly at the smart phones and start dreaming.  

But those aren't what God put here for me or my family.  

The news here pushes poverty and discontentment.  I wouldn't even think much on it if it didn't hit the headlines.  In our little world, we don't feel like we fit into the government's little box of who is under the poverty line.  In our little world, we are fed, clothed, we have a roof over our heads, we toil with our hands either at home, a job, or serving others voluntarily.  Our children are fed and safe, they do not know what it's like to go without necessities in life.  God has taken care of our needs, from the clothing on our backs to the food in our bellies and roof above our heads.  He uses what means He deems necessary to meet our needs.  He even provides extra surprises as He sees fit, and gives us chances to pass along what we are given as well to be a blessing to others.  

Proverbs 30:8-9 says:  8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

 I've learned to trust the Lord for everything, and He takes care of all of our needs.  What HE thinks are needs and what WE think are needs may be different, but HIS view of our needs far outweighs OUR thoughts of what needs are.  I don't NEED a fancy expensive outfit.  I don't NEED a new car or smart phone or new kitchen gadget or whatever.  We don't NEED a lot of things.  What we NEED is the Lord, first and foremost.  We need His guidance, His peace, His calming hand.  We need Him.  He takes care of the rest.  

Of course, that's not what the news articles will say is needed.  No, they site more government programs, more liberal church programs, and so on.  What our area needs more than those things is the Lord in hearts.  Without Him, no program, no plan will come to fruit and flourish to bring peace and prosperity to anyone.  

The hymn is true--"Little is much when God is in it, Labor not for wealth or fame."  With the Lord, all I have is all and more than I can ever need.

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  1. I am agreeing with you that it's the Lord Who brings us joy & He wants us to control our desires for earthly things & find our satisfaction in Him. I've been thinking on this lately as well. Now, I am trying to apply what I know to my food desires. How to be happy with my salad, etc. when my flesh is demanding more. This is my weakness, but I am happy to report that the Lord is changing my thinking patterns, little by little, & helping me be more content in this area as well. It's interesting that in Colossians 3:5 we discover "immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed"...amount to "idolatry." ( I've been praying the Lord would reveal idolatry in my life!) I am thinking in my mind it is what I think I MUST have to be happy, which certainly applies to my food habits. The LIE is that the food will make me happy or that I cannot resist it. It is the Lord Who gives joy & I CAN resist the temptation! I'm "preaching to myself" but maybe it will encourage you as well. Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia P.S. Is that verse the same in King James Bible?

    1. Cynthia,
      I love your reply in Angela's blog! You are so right about things we idol. I've been praying for God to help me with my food issues. Often times I think I need a certain food in order to feel good:(. I have work to do for sure.

      God Bless You

    2. Our pastor mentioned this topic not too long ago, on finances, joy, being content, and so on. And then the other day while at work (housekeeping at individual homes) the tv was set to Joyce Meyer (now I don't condone a lot of what she does based on the health/wealth stuff and the fact she calls herself a preacher), but she was on track with the things she was saying too about contentment with what you have, the love of money being evil, and waiting on the Lord to provide.

      There's small things I've been wanting to purchase, but there's not real "NEED" for them. I can live without them and still be fine. It just means I need to find ways to use what I have better. Food wise, I've been sliding back into the sugar, and the junk items it's used in. To get rid of that desire, I've started back on restricting the junk--if it's not taken in it can't get root, right? It's time to change the desires. It's also salad time, with lettuce growing and also on sale a bit in the stores, fruit is on sale, and easy to replace the junk with those. I'm working hard to be content with what I *should* take in vs what smells really really tempting, what sounds good, etc. You word it much better, Cynthia, than I can! I let the sugary junk start to work its way back into an idol, and it has to go!

      Thank you for your encouragement!

      As far as I know, the verses I used are KJV. I pulled them from a KJV Bible site.


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