I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! –Revelation 2:9

It’s possible to confuse material possessions with God’s blessings. It’s an important lesson to learn that God’s blessings aren’t limited to those who “have.” In fact, it’s possible that possessions can actually become an obstacle to recognizing God’s goodness. So much has to do with perspective. Here is a story to remind us of how one’s point of view can make a big difference!

“One day, the father of a very wealthy family sent his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On the return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog, and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.” The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? It makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have.”

On more than one occasion, I’ve noted to my wife that I never really knew how poor I was growing up. But, it didn’t prevent me from having a wonderful childhood. Our family had everything we really needed. Now, while I have more “stuff” than I did growing up, I’ve also learned that those things don’t really matter much in the big scheme of things. What really counts is faith, family, and relationships.

Today, regardless of what you have or don’t have in terms of possessions, remember the lesson of perspective. Give thanks for the wonderful blessings God has given you: the treasures that money cannot buy and no one can ever take from you.

1. Make a list of God’s blessings in your life.

2. Spend time in prayer thanking God for the items that make up your list.

Philippians 4:12; Hebrews 13:5

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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