“O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”
Brutal honesty? Total awareness of his fallen nature, unable to do right within himself? Or surrendered, not striving to have things just to have things? All three I think. When I read this passage, I was reminded of how we strive for things when we have little, and then when everything is going our way and we’re loaded with all we need, we skip over doing the little things that it took to get there.
I learn little when things are going my way. I am too busy enjoying life. I am easily distracted from serving others because I become wrapped in self, and achievements from hard work. This is called complacency. Complacency is a dark place that appears bright and promising, full of deception, and gives you that “I’m strong, and on top,” feeling.
All of the learning, understanding, and real growth experienced in life come from the struggle to reach the top. In my recovery, the struggle taught me to depend on God’s help daily. This place of hardship develops humility, character, and the need to learn from others that God places in my path. I don’t hear what constructive things others say, or lean on God’s help nearly as much because all seems well….but it isn’t.
Being penniless, homeless, and mostly helpless, makes me want to take things into my own hands. I don’t ask God for help because the need is immediate and he takes too long, thinking, “I need things, so I will get things I need, and do what it takes.” When a person rejects the idea that God wants to help them, lying and stealing are by-products of self-service. The problem for anyone in this dark place is they want control of outcomes. Expectations they place on themselves and not look to God, or those willing to help them, cause them to make bad decisions. Stealing is easier than asking for help. Lying for no reason is commonplace.
All of us can ask God for these two things, and should each day. Not asking for help is not having confidence in God’s desire and ability to help us. Change that now, on top or on the bottom, say, “God help me today.”
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.