Where does true wealth lie?
At a time when austerity is the word of the moment, the idea of becoming fabulously rich can seem even more attractive than ever. It is something most of us would welcome. Yet Jesus took the opposite route.
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by his poverty. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
He chose to become poor - of no means whatsoever - so that we would be rich. But rich in ways that confounds the world. Paul took delight in the Corinthians because they were 'rich in all you have: in faith, speech, and knowledge, in your eagerness to help and in your love for us'. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
We work on issues of child poverty and know that children need basic elements to thrive. But I believe that children can value the kind of richness Paul describes in an age where we are encouraged to aspire to financial wealth. Using the model of our Good Childhood Conversations I have been up and down the country, meeting hundreds of children in towns, cities and villages asking them what constitutes a good childhood.
Given the options to prioritise money, love, family, material goods, education, safety and friends, they consistently put love and family as the highest priorities. They put material goods and money at the bottom. Perhaps that is why Jesus encouraged us to become more like children.
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