Balancing Wealth and Humility?
I am a member of various online communities including the "Faith Driven Business" community on LinkedIn. A question was posed recently in the discussion forums: "Do you struggle with balancing wealth and humility?"
Based upon the links and references being shared in that discussion, it seemed to me to be a conversation regarding the false "prosperity gospel." Here is my contribution to that conversation:
I find it interesting that all the comments so far have focused on the "wealth" part of the question. No judgment intended...I just found it interesting.
I pondered the "humility" side of the question and sought to understand Biblical humility. Before this question was asked, I thought humility = meekness. Meekness is a mild and quiet nature often reflected in someone who is cowed or submissive and lacking initiative or will.
Numbers 12:3 says that Moses was "very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth," and yet Moses led a nation of over a million people! He sat in judgment, made rulings, and was G-d's chosen agent on earth to deliver His Law.
The more I studied Biblical humility in the persons of Moses, David, Solomon (Ecclesiastes... whoah!), and especially Christ driving out the money changers with a whip? (John 2:15) and telling his disciples to buy a sword if they didn't have one? (Luke 22:36), the more I discovered that humility is NOT meekness.
Biblical humility is knowing your place in relation to G-d and in relation to others around you then behaving in a manner consistent with that reality.
Moses knew his place before G-d was as a servant. At the same time Moses was in a position of authority over an entire nation. Moses' humility was in behaving in a manner consistent with that reality. He was NOT a meek man bringing that weak sauce. Christ knew His place before the Father was as a servant ("not My will but Your will be done"). At the same time Jesus was in a position of authority over *everything in creation* (Matthew 28:18, Colossians 2:10).
Biblical humility is not *lacking* in will but rather placing G-d's will above our own.
In regards to humility and wealth, I believe Paul said it best:
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all these things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13)
May we all find our place of humility before the Lord.