When I was in elementary school, I made a light-hearted comment that by a certain age I would be a millionaire. I based that on saving a few dollars everyday for a lot of days. That never happened, and quite frankly, I have never worked for much above minimum wage. However, I have gained a lot of insight on how to lean on other non-monetary qualities to survive from day to day. I swallowed my pride at times to receive governmental food assistance and food from Church lines. I have almost always been without health care, but always had my spiritual health. Stability and a secure living arrangement is difficult as rent assistance in one form or another is always needed. Socially, I have my parents, brothers, and sisters, but that is the extent of my social interaction. Money buys the wrong types of friends. The irony is that I love being in public places and mingling with people. Pride has never been an issue with me, humility is essential for survival, and God is always my source of strength. My identity has become enveloped in humility, grace, goodness, and perseverance.
I do not think myself better than those who will steal to provide for their families, and think that food assistance is a form of oppression. We are riddled with internal sin. People will often resort to violence as retaliation towards those who has robbed them of a roof over their head and steady employment. They take their financial depravity out on the society and the culture of those who rule over them. They see people as their oppressor, but really Satan is their enemy. Money should never be thought of as being more important than God. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and dust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”
Our identity, the essence of who we are, should always be within the message of the cross. Our sinful nature is crucified at the cross so that financial poverty is not equivalent with a life of Hell. With the crucifixion of the flesh, we are given the Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus. We are helped through this world by God’s love, comfort, joy, peace, faith, and perseverance living in us. Access to every treasure offered to us by God is found through Christ who lives in us. May our heart rest in the message of the cross.