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The Poor Man
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Chuck, one of my co-workers was holding forth.  “You have to understand,” he said, “the country today is stacked against poor people like me.”

When I heard that I burst out laughing.

“What?” he said, outraged at my reaction.

Chuck, I said, “You own two houses – no mortgage. You own them free and clear. You have what?  Several hundred thousand in retirement accounts” (I suspect he has more.) You drive a BMW. You have scads of stock from the last company you worked for.”


“You aren’t poor.”

“Yes, I am,” he insisted.

I laughed some more.

Oblivious to God's Blessings

There are the people that walk through life oblivious to the blessings God gives them. Chuck is one. He is well off. He is in good health. He has an interesting job. Yet at work, every day, he focuses on the few things that are wrong with his life rather than marveling the many things that are right. Does all of his worrying help? I have it on good authority that it does not.

In Matthew 6:25-27 Jesus states “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

I own less than half of the material things that Chuck has, yet every morning when I wake up I thank God for the blessings that He has given me: a loving family, reasonable health, a place to live, and a job that provides me with meaningful work and the means by which to sustain myself and my family.

I could complain. Things could be better. My family annoys me on occasion. My health is not perfect. I have a long commute to work. There are things in my house that need fixing which I lack the time and money to fix right now. Yet worrying about these things will not cure them, will not add one hour to my life and can blind me to the bounties that I do possess.

Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment of Chuck. He is wealthy in material things, it is true. Yet his obsession with what he does not have leaves him worse off than those who have much less than he has, but are able to take pleasure in what they do possess.

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By Mark N. Lardas. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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