Sunday, June 12, 2016

Non Material and Material Dimensions of Holistic Wealth

UV 1781/10000 Non Material and Material Dimensions of Holistic Wealth
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day
Deuteronomy 8 v 18

Scarcity and poverty are a consequence of the fall of man for abundance and wealth are the blessing of the Lord. Wealth if it is holistic has many non material dimensions. Our health is an important part of wealth. What is the use of billions when one is not healthy and able to enjoy it? Our emotions and sense of joy is another dimension of wealth. Our intellectual calibre and growth is the third non material dimension of wealth. Our societal connections or our relationships are the fourth non material dimension of wealth. Our abilities and talents are a non material dimension of wealth that directly has a bearing on our monetary or material wealth. This is perhaps the reason, a measure of gold since biblical times is called a talent that stood for around 33 kilograms. A person with a single outstanding talent like singing or dancing or acting can earn enormous amounts of material wealth and is often treated as an icon, a god who is worshipped in his or her own right and this is where he or she cons self and others for it is God Almighty who has given him or her that talent. This is also the reason that most of their lives are glitched or miserable and often, end in tragedy. Our sense of creativity and innovation is another important non material dimension of wealth. Our attitudes towards money and wealth, about using it and giving a part away are also part of our wealth. The most vital aspect of non material wealth is our spirituality, our personal knowledge of the Lord and our holding onto the presence of the Lord like a leech. We need to prosper in spirit, first but also in mind and body. The last and least aspect is the material dimension of wealth. It is the Lord who gives us the power to get wealth of all kinds. When the Lord makes a person wealthy, He adds no sorrow to it. We should avoid the brazen greed that drives both the materialism of modern communist China as well as the greed that drives the capitalist West. IF our craving veers more to the material than the non material, scripture warns that the Lord may grant our desire but send poverty to our soul or in the non material dimensions.

Scripture says that all the silver and gold in the world belongs to the Lord. He has endowed us with the capacity to earn. He looks at the desires of our heart. If our priorities are right, He is willing to add every good thing to our lives. He gives us a good land with enough water to build our homes. He blesses our food and water so that we are free from disease. He guides us so that we make timely decisions. When it comes to buying land, time is money. The more one delays one’s decisions, the higher the price goes up, sometimes a hundred times in one span of ten to twenty years. He sends opportunities our way so that we are benefitted by availing these.

He protects us from natural disasters and man made problems like crime, accidents and losses. He guides us in our investments so that it grows and multiplies. All this He does not as He is partial to us or that He is playing favourites but as He has promised all the non material and material blessings to Abraham and his descendants. He is pleased when we always recall that it is the Lord who is the source of our material and immaterial wealth, when we are thankful. Wealth should never take the place of God in becoming our source of security or of happiness. It should not make us neither complacent or proud and arrogant. Like Joseph of Arimathea who gave his grave for Jesus, we must always ask what is that we can do for the Lord with all that He has given us. A constant sense of gratitude would bless us even more in the non material and material aspects. We should always be contented with what the Lord has given us. We should not seek to increase it by ignoble or illicit or unfair means. When the king of Sodom wanted to reward Abraham for raiding a common enemy and retrieving his men and goods from some marauding troops, Abraham replied that he did not want so much as a strap of footwear from him so that he could not claim that he had made him rich. Abraham acknowledged that it was the Lord that had made him wealthy with cattle on a thousand hills. His sense of gratitude taught him to be hospitable to strangers and to give a tithe to the Lord. We are blessed with wealth so that not only our needs are sufficiently met but that we can give to people and causes that the Lord lays on our heart. Giving away a portion of our wealth to the needy and to the faithful will enable us to store up eternal riches. We should be obliged only to the Lord and not to others. We should neither be wasteful nor indigent. Jesus said, “ I have come that you might have life in all its abundance.” The abundant life refers to the non material as well as material aspects. Excessive wealth or blessings can be a snare or a temptation to us. It can thwart our growth to spiritual maturity.

Prateep V Philip

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