The Impoverished One

Recently I came across a video that has stuck with me.  It was of an elderly gentleman in an impoverished country who sits on the side of the road with a scale, offering to take peoples weight for a small sum of money.  Recently, his scale had been broken so he was not able to make his living.

In the video, a younger man approaches and asks the gentleman about his situation, perhaps having heard about his broken scale.  The gentleman, so humble in spirit, explained that yes it was true, but that by a miracle of God the scale was working again; it was good to work hard to earn his wages for life’s necessities. The younger man, moved by compassion, then steps on the scale, asking the older man what it would cost to take his weight.  The elderly man gives him a price, but the younger man offers him exponentially more. The man, overwhelmed and humbled, at first refused to take the gift. His reason was thought-provoking.  He simply said, “oh please, don’t make me greedy.” Oh my goodness, what a powerful request.  With all that this gift could bring to him, his main concern was to not become greedy.  What a gut check!

So much of my own internal struggles point to my own greediness.  In relationships, with finances, my physical appearance, time, etc.  But there is such incredible freedom as I think about these areas from a “please don’t make me greedy” perspective.

In relationships: With this perspective, I’m less inclined to be jealous of another’s talents, resources and treasures.  So what if they are skinnier, prettier, have a better home, car, “life,” etc.  Without greed, I can celebrate them and their gifts and be less likely to judge their motives and intentions. Often, it’s easier to look at myself (how unique or special I am) in relation to others, using these things as a measurement. But if I’m not as concerned about them being at the core of how I feel about myself, I can enjoy the relationships as the gifts they are.

With finances: This perspective helps me to be more content.  I have what I need.  Actually, more than I will ever need!  And while we desire to move to a new home in the next year, this perspective helps me to not be so overwhelmed with what that will take or where we will ultimately end up living.  I want to be wise and simple in my request for a place to call home, where friends and family can gather and share life together.

With time: This perspective stops me in my tracks. No more rushing to and fro, wanting only to cram a few more things into the day! I’m reminded of the scripture that says who, by worrying, can add a single hour or even minute to their life?!? So for all the time I spend rushing my kids along, trying to take on multiple tasks at once (rendering them all sub-par), or just downright fretting over how it will get done, it only points to my greediness of how I want my life to appear. Yes, there is a time for all things, I just don’t need to initiate them all simultaneously in an effort to get more done!

I am so grateful for this gentle reminder of where my heart is with the Lord as I consider the greed that so easily infiltrates these areas of my life.  Instead of greedily seeking “more,” I want for my contentment to be found fully in Him.  Everything else is simply icing on the cake.

– by a Jericho staff member