The Rich and the Poor

The Rich and the Poor

21st September 2015

In recent weeks I have been looking more closely at the world around me and becoming profoundly aware of how rich we are. By the world I mean the part that I live in and by rich I mean wealth. I live in the affluent West as it is called. And I have been comparing the world that I live in to other parts of the world where there is widespread poverty. In my part of the world we spend vast amounts of money on cars, houses, holidays, clothes, leisure, makeup, interior decorating, fine foods and gadgets. But in other parts of the world people count themselves fortunate if they have an old bicycle to get around on or a pair of shoes to wear. In those parts of the world people eat whatever they can and often go hungry and they walk for miles just to get some water.

I am ashamed that in my part of the world we indulge ourselves so much when there are such great numbers of people in other parts of the world in great need. I am also appalled that in my own country the wealth is so unevenly distributed with most of the wealth in the hands of a small fraction of the population. In my opinion one of the greatest sins of mankind is the way those who have share so little with those who have not.

From the beginning of the bible to the end we are told time after time that God wants those who have to give to those who have not. As Christians we are meant to travel light and not cling to our possessions. In the book of Acts we are told this about the early church: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…..There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need”. It seems to me that far too often we Christians in the West have strayed a long way from this wonderful vision of how the church should be.

So, the next time you are thinking about buying those expensive clothes or jewellery or that huge state of the art TV or the latest model of car or anything else for that matter, think again. Do you really need it? What would Jesus do?