Poverty In Plenty

Prov 28:19  (NASB) says “He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.”

I’m aware this verse is really talking about laziness and work; that those who work hard and are diligent will have plenty – those who chase after fantasies will end up with little or nothing.

However, the last phrase in this verse really stirred my thoughts.  It seems to be such a commentary on our world and many who claim to be followers of Christ.  

I know many believers who are sold out for Jesus, but I’m also finding more and more Christ Followers who have spiritual poverty in the midst of all the blessings they’ve received.  A couple of factors that seem to play a part are attitude, choices and margin.

Some demonstrate the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5) no matter what they face.  They don’t try to paint some unreal picture of their problems.  They’re honest, but still choose to have Jesus’ attitude because they know that in the midst of the problem lies an opportunity to either grow in their faith and character or share with someone else about the peace they have in Christ.  They don’t sugarcoat their struggles – they share the source of their strength.

Some make wise choices and some make selfish choices.  Pretty much evertything in this life boils down to our choices.  Two people can face the same situation and one will choose wisely while the other chooses poorly (like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – don’t know why that movie just came to mind! HA).  But the truth is – our lives and relationships are the result of our choices.   Some choose to follow Christ and some choose to act like believers while following their own selfish desires.  The result is that they have spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical poverty in the midst of their “plenty”.

And then there’s the issue of margin.  On Sunday, we’ll talk about margin in our lives.  Of course margin is actually a result of choice – but it’s huge in terms of this idea of poverty.  I’m meeting more and more believers who are choosing something counter-cultural – to actually build margin into their lives financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  They are the ones who are experiencing MORE (plenty) in spite of their choice to do LESS.  They are learning to create margin in their lives and it shows.

As you can probably tell – I didn’t have “a plan” when I sat down to write today.  Just had some random thoughts – triggered by this idea of poverty in plenty.   Hope some of it makes sense.  For me and my family – I’m praying we continually strive to have/live the attitude of Christ, that we make wise choices, and that we learn to build margin into our lives — ie that we won’t have “poverty in plenty.”

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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