Friday, July 25, 2014

2.3 Billion Poor - Why I am not Poor

Almost 30% of the world's population is poor. That's a lot of people. I came across those stats when I was enjoying a muffin and cappucinno. That cost 4.50 Singapore dollars, almost double of all these 2.3 billion people have to live on for a whole day. I don't feel guilty but I ponder on what "fate" has dealt me and why I am not poor. I can think of five reasons. First, I was born into a good family with hard working parents. My mother worked 12 hours a day, giving tuition sometimes twice a day beside her job as a school teacher. They took care of their four sons. They never nagged us to study but gave us all the encouragement to excel. And excelled we did. Second, we live in a peaceful country where economic activity is possible and it is possible for those who work hard to prosper and get ahead. Third, I was naturally gifted as a student. Nothing to do with me (parents' genes) for it was a natural talent. But I also worked hard. I got up at 4,30a,m in the morning when I was Primary 4 to study for my exams. My dad had to ask me to get back to sleep once. Working hard is way to get ahead and good results matter. I got my first job as a lawyer in New Zealand after the first job interview. My grades were not that good but in the last 2 years of law study my grades improved and strangely taxation law was my best paper. Yes, I used to take up tax cases and won against the IRD.
Fourth, I tried to upgrade myself in learning whenever I got the chance. Even changing career was a challenge, gave up everything, went to serve the tribal peoples of Borneo and for the first few years of my ministry I was poor because I had to identify with the poor to be effective in their midst but again even in those days, I felt rich spiritually and was never in lack. Fiifth, I am not poor because I have education opportunities to advance myself. Not many people can teach Septuagint and NT Greek and as an exegete of the Bible I feel I am always in demand. And God's grace abounds in that I was gifted the gift of preaching and although the honourarium from some churches are meagre, I can still afford my McDonald's cappucinno. You see really these five reasons were not my own doing, good parents, peaceful country and educational opportunities all these were granted to me. It is indeed grace upon grace and God's sovereignty more than anything else that I am not labelled as the poor of this world. But spare a thought for the poor and do whatever you can to alleviate their poverty and sufferings. Remember that all the blessings we enjoy are God's doing and we give of what comes from Him

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