The other day when we opened our hotel room door, USA Today was waiting for us on the floor. In it there was an article about an ex-NFL star who, despite his $6.45 million in assets, owes $6.7 million to various creditors and has filed for bankruptcy. His assets include 240 pairs of high-end sneakers, a $2,250 watch and a $1,200 lion skin rug. His average weekly income is twice my annual salary.
Many professional athletes have grown up in poverty, but their athletic prowess has allowed them the chance to live their dreams in opulent wealth. Some of them are unable to cope with the contrast. Greed, arrogance and irresponsibility drive them to opulent poverty. How could a man worth $6.45 million go bankrupt?
Easy. By owing $6.7 million.
Thanking them for a sacrificial gift they had sent to him, the Apostle Paul told the church at Philippi,
“…Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phi 4.11-13, ESV)
It’s tough being poor. But it can also be tough being rich. Not everyone can do it. The key, Paul says, is to learn to be content, and to lean on the Saviour.