Wealth or Love?

Where we Gather
Who do I Crowd Out?
In biblical times, a man’s wealth might be measured by the size of his herds and flocks.  As a result, the more wealth he accumulated, the more grazing land his livestock required. As people grew richer, they literally distanced themselves from others just to maintain their riches-on-the-hoof.

In today’s complex economy, we don’t have to move away from our loved ones because we have so many sheep. All the same, I wonder sometimes: would we have more room in our schedule for loved ones if we had less stuff? 
Our home is neither grand nor luxurious. But what if we’d chosen drastically cheaper living arrangements? Would we then choose to work less, and hang out with our family more? Or would we maintain our current income and plow the leftover cash into other stuff?

How many times each day am I called to choose between a path that honors a relationship and a path that leads to stuff? Each decision point reflects a tension that’s been with humanity for a long, long, time.

I’m not a particularly acquisitive person. Still, I pray each day for the discernment to pick the relationship path. Always.

After all, even Abraham and his nephew, Lot, didn’t consider reducing their herds. They just discussed who would move.

5 Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. 6 But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. 7 So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. (At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.)

8 Finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives! 9 The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

Genesis 13:5-9 (NLT)

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