Rich is determined by not what we have, but how little we need

Published 10:14 am Friday, November 11, 2022

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To the Editor:
During November Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The record drug overdoses and the record crime show many Americans are so focused on themselves they are neither thankful or proud of the great riches and blessings we have as Americans.
The Bible is true when it says in the last days people would be lovers of themselves and unthankful. (2 Tim. 3) Unthankfulness is the beginning or root of evil. Before one gets a divorce they are first unthankful for their spouse. Before one steals they are unthankful for what they have. According to a survey finds the U.S. has become like ancient Israel when “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Fewer Americans than ever take their traditional moral values from Biblical principles a new survey says. Now 42 percent of Americans say that “what you feel in your heart” or your emotions and feelings is their absolute morale guide to life instead of the Bible.
The Bible says guard your heart and the heart is evil until Jesus changes the heart. Some said they voted their emotions because no one should be able to tell them what to do with their body and they believed they should be able to kill their baby all nine months. Some enjoy taking drugs, stealing, and destroying property. We just had evil vandals destroy a lot of the Old Highland Cemetery in Elizabethton. Thanks to Tyler Tetrick and Joe Alexander and others for their work in fixing the cemetery.
We fight discontent by not comparing ourselves with very rich Americans. With all their wealth many are bored, lonely and miserable. Material prosperity isn’t enough to satisfy without Jesus. Poverty is real, but relative and changing. Some people in Florida just became poor after a hurricane destroyed their homes. In the future all Americans will be poor during the soon coming tribulation when the electric power is cut off. So you can say America’s great riches hangs by a thread or electric wire. Some falsely assume that lots of material possessions are a sign of God’s favor. Revelation 3 tells about Laodicea which was a wealthy city, and the church was wealthy. But what the Laodiceans could buy had become more important to them than Jesus and what is eternal. Americans are like the lukewarm Laodiceans. Jesus said, “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and know not that thou are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
Economists like Thomas Sowell say American poor (most are over-weight) are the envy of the poor of the rest of the world. Most people of the world eat the same thing everyday and are glad to have it. World Vision reported that if you have clean water and a decent bathroom, you are richer than one-third of the world’s population. Millions of illegals made the dangerous journey to America to enjoy the riches, liberty and opportunity unprecedented in world history, which we take for granted. Doctors say it’s good for our health to be thankful. Human psychology is such, we aren’t made happy by what we acquire, but by what we are thankful for or appreciate. Rich is determined not by what we have but how little we need. The Bible says if you have food and clothes be content. In many ways most Americans are richer than kings were 200 years ago. Kings didn’t have air conditioning, telephones or as many choices of food and entertainment.
The Bible commands to give thanks to God in everything. Christians are the most thankful people because they are thankful first and always to Jesus who with His precious blood fully paid for all our sins on the cross. Christians are thankful and grateful and not hateful. Thankfulness is the Christian way of life.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is ‘good’ because it is good, if ‘bad,’ because it works in us patience, humility and contempt of this world and hope of our eternal country.” The proper attitude for America is the attitude of gratitude and the proper posture for America is kneeling in thanksgiving to God for the great blessings we have taken for granted.

D.D. Nave

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