The Common Bond Between Rich and Poor

Rich and Poor

Our society tries to portray the rich and the poor as two completely opposite groups. Obviously, these groups differ greatly with respect to their possessions or income. However, the Bible speaks of a common bond between them that is far more significant than the differences between them.

The Proverb writer noted, “The rich and the poor have a common bond, the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). In God’s creation, one economic class does not hold a superior status over the other. In fact, Peter told Cornelius and his household, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35).

God’s impartiality is shown in the fact that all may come to Him and receive salvation. As long as one fears and obeys God, He will accept him. When one obeys the gospel, he is not placed in a higher or lower position in the kingdom based upon his wealth or any other factor. Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Economic distinctions that are deemed so important by the world (slave or free man) do not matter to the Lord. Therefore, they should not matter to us, either. After all, Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). This means that we are to judge according to God’s perfect standard rather than man’s imperfect one. What is important (or unimportant) to God should be the same to us.

Jesus also issued this warning: “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). One who is wealthy should not think of himself as better than those who are poor because his possessions do not represent who he truly is. On the other hand, those who are poor should not think evil about one who is rich simply because of his wealth. Again, one’s possessions do not represent who he truly is.

Our lives are temporary. Nothing we accumulate here will last. If we die, our possessions will remain here (Luke 12:20). If we live on until the Lord returns, our riches will be destroyed along with “the earth and its works” (2 Peter 3:10). Therefore, we need to look past one’s financial circumstances – either their wealth or their poverty – and see them for who they really are – one who has been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

There are many who will try to drive a wedge between the rich and poor for their own advantage. We see this often in the realm of politics; but it can be found in other areas as well, even within the church. Do not be deceived. The only difference between these two groups is their level of wealth. The poor can be guilty of greed just as much as the rich can be guilty of laziness. We must learn to see others not as rich people or poor people, but simply as people. Do not judge them based upon things that do not matter – like wealth. Instead, we are to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

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