Cups and Saucers That Match
By DANNY MINTON
I am rich. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not wealthy, but I am rich. Society uses the word rich to refer to people with a lot of money and valuables. And although that is what the primary definition of rich is in the dictionary, it’s in the second definition that we find the true meaning. I may not be as wealthy as the world’s millionaires, but I’m as rich or possibly richer than many of those we call wealthy.
The second noted definition of rich simply states, “plentiful; abundant.” Reading this definition, I realize that I am not only rich but “very” rich. Please permit me to give you a look at part of my portfolio.
- Friends: I have lots of friends. Probably more than my share, but I’ll keep them all. Some go back to my elementary and high school years, and others have been friends from places I have lived in over the past decades. I know that I can rely on them when things become challenging in life. They’ve been there before, and I could pick up the phone today and call so many of them who would be by my side within a heartbeat. They would not help based on my wealth or standing in society. They’d be there because we are friends with love for each other. The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote about having friends, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NASB)
- Family: I am fortunate to have grown up in a good, loving family—parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, and uncles who showed care for one another. Ask any of my cousins or siblings about our upbringing, and you’ll hear beautiful stories of our family mentors. We weren’t perfect, but we cared for each other. Many have gone now; however, the legacy they left remains in the hearts of so many. I enjoy the companionship of a loving wife; I have a great son with a fantastic family and am surrounded by nieces and nephews who enjoy the company of one another. I am rich with a strong family heritage, a result of the fulfillment of a blessing of mine found written in Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
- Enough: As I view my possessions, I find that I have “enough.” I have a house to live in, a roof over my head at night, and a place to flee from the heat of summer and the cold of winter. I have food in the pantry and refrigerator and water to drink (and make coffee!) My closet is full of clothes for any weather. I own two vehicles to move from place to place and can afford gasoline despite the high prices. I have access to good medical care and good doctors to care for my health needs. I may not have everything I “want,” but I have “enough” to care for my needs. Paul wrote, “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.” Philippians 4:11-12 (NASB)
- Security: I’m not talking about the safety of wealth. With COVID, a continuing “cost of living,” and a volatile stock market, we have seen how wealth can quickly disappear. When we rely on things for our future, we can easily find out how we can find ourselves vulnerable to the world. I have the security of knowing that no matter what happens in this life, I have a life waiting for me, a far more stable and peaceful one than I live now. Peter wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)
I am rich, not because of wealth, but because I have an abundance of blessings in my life. I encourage you to take inventory of what you have, not the things you have in measure of dollars, but what you have that makes your life fuller. It is our family, friends, and love of God for us that are our most valuable possessions. We should all learn to put our faith in the things that enrich our lives instead of things that make us rich with wealth.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged the Jews who had come out to hear him speak not to worry about things of this life. He encourages them with these words, “
31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34 (NASB)
She sat at her desk trying to figure out how to pay all her bills when she heard a knock on the door, and standing in the rain were two small children, a boy and a girl. “Any aluminum cans, lady?” She invited the children out of the rain, “Would you like some cookies and hot cocoa?” The children anxiously agreed and sat at the table while she placed a plate of cookies and a cup of cocoa in front of each of them. After a couple of sips of hot cocoa, the boy quietly whispered to his sister, “Look, Jill, cups and saucers that match. She must be rich.” The children finished, and after the lady handed them some cans, they left with her quietly closing the door behind them. She stood at the door, and as she turned back to her desk, she looked down at two muddy footprints on the floor. She started to clean them up but decided not to for a while. They reminded her that she was rich; after all, she had cups and saucers that matched.
I am rich. Sometimes, I look for my wealth in all the wrong places. Where are you looking?
Danny Minton is an Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ