Help the Rich
HELP THE RICH
by L.A. Stauffer
In our nightly family devotions, two of our daughters invariably pray: “help the rich and the poor.” It’s not unusual to hear someone pray for the poor; their needs are outward and are obvious to all. But I don’t think I’ve heard anyone ask God to help the rich, so it struck me as being odd when our children first offered this prayer. These seven and ten-year-old children don’t realize it, but they have hit on a very important need.
The rich do need help. The Bible often speaks of the deception of riches (Matt. 13:22) and their danger to the soul (Mark 10:24). The need of rich folks is inward and is therefore of much more importance than a poor person’s need for food or clothes. The rich need help so they don’t trust in riches and forget God (Mark 10:24). They need help so they don’t become high-minded and begin to look condescendingly upon their “common” brethren (I Tim. 6:17). They need help so they don’t make treasures on earth their master and idol rather than treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-24; Col. 3:5). They need help so they don’t become attached to their wealth and neglect the needy (Luke 16:19-30). They need the help of God who, through the Scriptures, can mold in them an attitude that does not “love money,” which is the root of all kinds of evil (I Tim. 6:10).
I’ve heard folks say that if a depression hits, we’ll just have to learn to live with poverty. What we need right now, though, is to forget the depression and learn how to live with prosperity. The apostle Paul, according to the NASV translation, says: “I also know how to live in prosperity” (Phil. 4:12). The Laodiceans who boasted of their riches and were indifferent toward the work of the Lord had not learned, as Paul did, the lesson of how to manage prosperity (Rev. 3:14-22). Just as the Laodiceans, every one of us needs the help of God to handle aright our prosperity.
Yes, I said, “our prosperity.” Brethren, according to the first century standard, we are wealthy. And we can handle our prosperity if, like the Macedonians, we first give ourselves to the Lord (II Cor. 8:5). God, help us.
L.A. wrote the above article several years ago, but its truths are as much needed today as when it was first written.