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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Does our wealth still separate us?

In my devotions today I read a familiar story.  Abraham and Lot were traveling together as God led them to the 'new land I will show you'. 

Then I got to Genesis 13:6 "But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together." NIV  They had to separate because the land would not support both their herds.  Their servants quarreled over who got to use the limited wells first.  They had to go their separate ways.

I never before realized how sad this was.  These two men were family.  They lived close to each other all their lives and now they might never see each other again... because they had too many possessions.  Wow.

So, I wonder, does wealth separate us today? 

I know I am uncomfortable visiting people who's houses are fancier (and cleaner) than mine.  I don't envy their pretty stuff but I also don't invite them over to see my humble abode.  That too is sad.  I am embracing a more simple life and I should be willingly sharing it instead of hiding and fearing someone else's opinion.

Most of the time I don't let someone else's poverty keep me from spending time with them or building a friendship.  However, I do know that most homeless people don't get many hugs.  I'm even a little hesitant to smile and wave if I'm not stopping to share food as if that's the only kindness they need. 

Then of course there are the folks who have very different ideas about how much people should be helping, ie. taking care of them and tend to be demanding in their requests.  I guess I tend to avoid them in order to avoid the inevitable conflict. 

So - wealth, or lack of it, does still separate us and it is sad.  Can we find ways to reach out a hand of friendship to people so very different than us?  What amazing new discoveries will we find when we do?


  1. I think wealth separates us because we've been trained to judge people (and ourselves) by our wealth--how much we earn, what clothes we wear, what cars we drive, how nice (and big) our houses are. Judging someone immediately separates you from that person because of the comparison. Especially since we are often wrong in our judgements. We assume that wealthy people are hard-working and responsible while poor people are lazy and irresponsible. But fail to see that the wealthy are often in debt, living beyond their means and many working poor have jobs that require a lot more physical labor than a higher paying desk job (or have more than one job to make ends meet). It might be best if we stop judging by our own standards and remember to see each person as Jesus sees them. I can't imagine Jesus grumbling about the waste of taxpayer dollars on the poor or admiring someone because they have a million dollar mansion.

    1. I read something beautiful recently. The author basically said that when we worship together we are not doctors and janitors and beggars; we are all children of God and we are all equal.