Which do you think is better? Growing up poor and becoming rich or growing up rich and becoming poor?

In Luke 6:17-26, Jesus pronounces blessing and woes over people experiencing different states of being. In the “blessings” category are all those who lack, while those in the “woes” category have plenty. In the blessings category, we have the poor (literal and in spirit), hungry, sad, and ridiculed for their hope in God. The woe category contains the rich, well-fed, and popular people.

In the blessing category, Jesus declared, “”Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets” (Luke 6:23 NIV).

For the woe’s, Jesus declared, “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 NIV).

Between these two categories, the blessing people are those who depend on God, while the woe category is those who rely on themselves and their circumstances. Those who lack versus those who have plenty.

When I consider the differences between growing up poor and becoming rich or growing up rich and then becoming poor, it strikes me that the one who grows up poor knows what it is to lack, while the one who grows up rich does not. One realizes they are not entitled to anything, while the other may think they are entitled. One might see what is truly important in this world, while the other places hope and faith into the wrong things.

Consider this. What if the one who grew up poor and became rich becomes poor again? We might say that person is better suited to handle being poor again because they know what it’s like to be poor. What about the one who was rich, then poor, and then rich again?

In either case, what I think matters is who the person gave credit to. If the one who was poor and became rich thought, “I did this all on my own,” then did they learn anything? When they become poor again, might they think they can get themselves out of the mess? What about the rich turned poor, turned rich again? Maybe they thought they lost everything because of who they were and how they behaved?

When I think of lack and plenty, I also think about hitting rock bottom. While I’m usually accustomed to hearing this associated with substance abuse, I see it as a metaphor we can extend to other areas of life. The meaning behind it is simple. The person who has hit rock bottom cannot go down any further. They can only go up, and they’ve reached their end. It’s here, where someone has reached their end, that I see the power in lack and the weakness of plenty.

The great deception, of course, is that no matter if we are rich or poor, lacking or have plenty, we all lack without Jesus in our lives.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.