Better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be crooked in one’s ways even though rich.
Worse than being poor is not having accepted a measure of contentedness with what one has and recognizing that others may be even more poverty stricken than you. Worse than being poor is having tried to improve one’s situation by cheating or stealing. Worse than being poor is being ungrateful for what God has given you. It is no shame to be poor when one has worked for the meager living one enjoys. It is no shame to be poor when one has been fair and honest in one’s dealings. There are worse things than being poor! Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:21)
Much worse than being poor is having acquired wealth in deceitful and underhanded ways. It is sad when the rich could have paid their poor workers a decent salary so that they might enjoy a better and easier life. It is sad when rich people have cheated others or stolen from others to amass their wealth. It is sad when rich people have walked by or looked the other way from people seeking help. It is sad that their hardened hearts could not extend compassion to the poor. It is sad that the rich could not share some of their wealth rather than being greedy and selfish. Much worse than being poor are the rich who have gained or retained their wealth by having taken advantage of or having oppressed others. By the world’s standards the wealthy seem privileged and yet in Your eyes, O Lord, they may be much worse off than the poor.
O Lord, as we consider the people of the world we are wealthy although there are many that have much more than we do. There are many more that have less than we do. Help us to be contented with what we have. Help us to be grateful for all that You have given us. Help us to be always fair and honest in our dealings … never taking advantage of others. Help us to share with others in need as we are able. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.