I was reading Proverbs 28 this morning and thought for a while on verse 19: He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.
Granted – the principle of this verse is based on an agricultural idea related to hard work, but the idea of following empty pursuits that result in poverty in the midst of plenty kept coming to mind.
By the world’s standards – almost everyone who lives in America has plenty, but we seem to be drifting (or perhaps) racing toward spiritual poverty. Why? Because we spend our time chasing empty pursuits instead of God.
The Feb. 26, 2005, Fort Worth Star Telegram contained an article citing a 4 Year National Study done by Christian Smith – the Stuart Chapin Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The research found that devout teens hold more traditional sexual and other values than their nonreligious counterpartsand are better off in emotional health, academic success, community involvement, concern for others, trust of adults and avoidance of risky behavior.
When teens chase after God – they are better off in every aspect of their lives. I’d suggest that’s true for all age groups!
Perhaps the reason we are seeing more and more people struggle with emotional issues, academic problems, less community involvement or concern for others is because in the midst of having so much we’ve forgotten where it came from (James 1:17) As a result – we are experiencing Poverty in Plenty.