Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Prosperity, a Gateway to Humility

(This reading is based on Proverbs 24, and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)
"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man." Prov. 24: 33, 34
Poverty bears no Christian nobility that it should be a thing desired. Too often is the required humility of those who profess to be followers of Jesus attached to the humble (poverty stricken) conditions in which one exists. Poverty does not mean humility. According to the text, poverty is the result of laziness. This of course is situational, because whereas one my live under the reign of a suppressive/tyrannical government, or a setting where the rule of law is largely non-existent and criminals freely plunder, then poverty may be attributable to circumstances outside the individual.
Truth be told humility is best demonstrated through one who is of a lofty station in life - which would make Jesus Christ, Creator of the universe, the epitome of humility: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Phil 2: 6-8. The text also suggests that humility is a choice and not a default outgrowth of ones circumstances - "He humbled Himself."
I get the sense that Solomon is here implying that where it is up to us to determine our lot in life, we shouldn't sleep too much, but actively seek out opportunities; don't slumber or slouch so much when opportunities are available; and don't quit so easily when you need to be pushing. Otherwise, poverty will creep upon us like a prowler, and our unsupplied needs will stick us up like an armed man. Under such conditions we may not be able to behave with certain obvious displays of pride - not by choice, but by the dictates of our situation. Such a display of "humility" is suspect.

Let us therefore work diligently and wisely; make our efforts count, then employ the fruits of our labour in humble service to our fellowmen and in the promulgation of God's eternal Kingdom.

To read and/or listen to Proverbs 24 and to read other related blogs, please click here.