I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:10-12
“There are two sets of values that live on two separate planes — one visible and the other invisible. On the visible plane we have wealth and poverty. On the invisible plane there is abundance and scarcity. A person can be financially wealthy yet be possessed by scarcity to such a degree that they might as well be in poverty.
In other words, there are many rich people in the world (on the outside) who live like poor people (on the inside). To the contrary, there are many poor people in the world (on the outside) who live from an incredible place of abundance (on the inside). Wealth and poverty are the external, visible circumstances while scarcity and abundance are the internal, invisible realities. Paul gets this and gets at it in today’s text.
The kingdom of this world is a kingdom of scarcity. The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of abundance. Some of the wealthiest people I know live in the kingdom of scarcity. Paul shows us what living in the zone of the kingdom of abundance looks like…
There is only one antidote to the cancer of scarcity: radical generosity. People of scarcity get richer and richer on the outside and more and more impoverished on the inside. It’s why Jesus said it was so hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:23-24). This is why Jesus instructed the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor and come and follow him (Matthew 19:21). He knew the rich man’s money had him. This is the sad and painful truth behind so many rich people…
There’s nothing so disheartening than to ask someone of great means for help and to be turned away. On the other hand, there’s nothing quite so gratifying when someone who seemingly lacks the capacity to help you does so in a surprising way. This explains Paul’s exuberant gratitude for the Philippians. Of all the churches he served, only the Philippians came through and helped him. Something tells me they were the least likely. Abundance has nothing to do with how much or how little we have.”
J.D Walt in an excerpt of “The Sad Truth Behind So Many Rich People” from The Seedbed Daily Text on 15 May 2021. J.D. Walt is a dear friend. I read his blog regularly and so do many other Daily Meditations readers who alerted me to this post.
If you are reading this and you possess financial wealth, remember three things. (1) It’s not yours. (2) It can’t save you, bring you satisfaction, or give you the security it promises. (3) The only way to make sure it does not make you poor on the inside is to give it away.
If you say, “It won’t impact me. I can possess wealth and not get tainted.” You are fooling yourself. I know. I did it for years. You don’t figure out until you live it out that God’s design won’t leave you empty but enriched.
Shout out to our daughter Sophie today! She turns 24! For many years she’s grasped the antidote to the cancer of scarcity by living, giving, serving, and loving generously. Happy Birthday. I love you, Sophie. The way you shine for Jesus impacts everyone you touch in profound ways.