Would You Rather Be Filthy Rich or Extremely Poor?

by Jason on December 5, 2009

Have you ever played the “Would You Rather…” game?  It pits two opposing choices against each other and people go around and decide which one they’d rather have and why.

It’s a good ice-breaker and a fun game to hear people’s insights.

That’s exactly what I’d like to do this weekend – play the “Would You Rather” game and hear your points of view.

At first glance this looks like an easy question – I mean who really wants to be extremely poor!? 

In order to play the game effectively you have to think about the implications of both:

If you’d rather be filthy rich, do you think that would lead to pride, arrogance, self-sufficiency and perhaps even an indifference toward God?

Or would it lead to doing more good and giving to the poor.

If you chose extreme poverty do you think that would lead you down the road of anxiousness, hating God for your situation or even stealing to meet your needs?

What Scripture Says

Here’s a couple of interesting verses to consider as we wrestle with this question: 

Proverbs 30:8-9:

…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,  lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Luke 11:2-4:

And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,  for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation.”

So, it seems like Scripture would have us go with a balanced view here.  Neither poverty nor riches, just enough to get by each day.

What I Would Choose

I’d try to go with the balanced view of Scripture found in Proverbs, but if I had to pick one – the pious side of me could justify both. 

On the one hand, if I was rich think of all the good I could do and poverty I could help eliminate.

On the flip side, think of how big my faith would be because I’d have to trust in God for every meal and after all – God has a heart for the poor and marginalized.

But would I really do that much good or would I really have a deep faith in God’s provision and sovereignty?

What About You – Which Would You Choose?

Now it’s your turn!  I purposely didn’t give a full answer of what I’d choose because I’d like to hear your insights into this question.

So, which is it – Would You Rather Be Filthy Rich or Extremely Poor – and why?

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