Tested by prosperity

godless richesBy Stan Mitchell

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8-9 ESV).

His name was William. He taught fourth-grade mathematics at the mission school and sat with his wife and two children on the next-to-front row at church every Sunday morning. He owned a bicycle and lived in a modest house at the edge of the mission station.

Then one day he won the lottery.

He resigned his position at the school, bought a fleet of buses, and became a businessman. He built a mansion, drove a Mercedes, and stopped coming to church.

Visits were made to his home in the hope that they would encourage him to return to worship.

I’ll never forget what he said: “Religion is for poor people who need God. I no longer need God.”

I remember the bumper sticker that says: “Lord, let me win the Lotto. I can handle it.”

Mostly we view God’s testing as coming with hard times, and there is a great deal of truth to that thought, but we are often also tested with prosperity. Wealth tests our character, the depth of our commitment to God.

Which test do you think America is facing, the test of poverty … or prosperity?

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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