Life Lessons from Hard Times – Part 3 of 12
Continuing with our series on Wisdom and Successful Living, we have found that wisdom is both from above and necessary in our daily living. It is a life skill that comes with knowledge and practice.
It is the Hebrew term chokmah, which means skillful living or wisely winding your life with skill around the circumstances you face with good judgment and sober thinking and knowledge.
Who would have thought! To see scenes of vacant freeways, roads, parks, common areas – the good health news is the majority of America seems to be taking the reduced travel, work and contact seriously. A cartoon circulating hits it on the head: “What surprises you the most about the coronavirus?” “It has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel all sports, shutdown all bars, and keep men at home!” However you view current events, most of life patterns as we know them are turned around. Someone has switched the price tags!
Such is the case with us as we gauge how to live in our day. James reminds us, James 1:9-11 9Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10But the rich should take pride in their humiliation – since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. What? Is this really true from God’s perspective? Even in Mark Twain’s autobiography, notes that to begin life poor and prospectively become rich, such a man “cannot imagine the curse of it.”
These truth’s remain:Financial Humility or Limited Income Promises the most Valuable Lessons. Two things are true – this is a position of reasonable pride, of knowing you are in a place where God can best tutor and educate you and me in the eternal truths of His Kingdom; and secondly, such a place is a place of privilege and standing and pride in the Kingdom. We should not, dare not, look down on those who live in modest means and circumstances. Wealth and Riches Can Lead to Disappointment and Even Loss and Destruction. The comfort and seeming protections of affluence are illusory. Our sense of well being does not increase with material possessions; it actually sets us up for the opposite. Money is akin to the temptations of lust and pride. This is a dark mantle that shadows us in every life circumstance. There is no “lifestyle” that solves the problem. The challenge, or question, always lingers, and rightly so: “How can I live with or without that? How can what I have be used for those in need around me, for my neighbor, who we have defined as ‘one whose need I see and whose need I can meet’, from the good Samaritan.
We hold all that we have, that has been placed temporarily with us, with an open hand. We are stewards more than owners. And our goal is this: that our net worth and lives are always moving toward eternal values that bring the affirmation and crown from heaven. More on that next week.
– John Moore