One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
A man’s riches may ransom his life,
but a poor man hears no threat.
A man can be rich and have nothing, and a poor man can want for everything and yet be rich. When we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, God pours into our whole being, releasing
us from the prison of circumstance and freeing us to experience the presence of God in our commerce with a sometimes resistant world: “As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way . . . through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:4, 8–10).
The world cannot begin to comprehend this paradox; it evaluates riches and richness as merely the one-dimensional accumulation of things of this life. The frustration experienced by the worldly man grows out of the fleeting nature of time and the awareness of mortality. Yet we would do well to cleave to the wisdom of Jesus in dealing with everyday living: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
–Eric Kampmann, Signposts