On our way to Metrotown mall, Gabriel lamented, “Why aren’t we rich?” This was after I had told him we were not really going shopping, but more like window shopping.
“We are rich,” I said. Then I enumerated the things we were rich in. “Love, friends... We’re just not rich in money.”
I avoided saying “We’re poor” because it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially if said or thought of repeatedly. Doesn’t the Book of Proverbs say, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”? Besides, the word “poor” is highly subjective.
Gabriel clarified his statement. “I mean, money, Mom,” he said. “Why don’t we have money?”
“We have money, too,” I corrected myself. “It’s still in God’s hands though. But it will come.”
“What do you mean? Is it going to follow us to the mall?” he was being sarcastic.
Living here in Canada, I feel truly blessed for what we enjoy as a normal part of life even if we are not, by Canadian standards, wealthy. I have seen so much poverty where I came from, who am I to complain now? Many kids who grow up here don't even have a clue what stark poverty looks like.
One of my big challenges as a parent is teaching my boys how to value money without worshipping it. In North America, materialism can rub off on you so quickly if you don't watch out, and my kids are just as vulnerable.
I am not against getting rich but if it becomes your overriding goal, I believe it will eat you alive. “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” There will be much less troubles in this world if people were not so greedy.
I want my boys to succeed in life. I want to see them prosper with integrity. But before then, I want them to build their character so they will be strong and wise enough to handle prosperity when it comes.
Upon learning that his aunts and their spouses were vacationing in Europe, Gabriel asked, “Mom, are they rich? And I mean in money, not in looove…”
“Yes, they are rich in money, but they are also rich in love,” I answered. In fact, they are among my usual examples to my kids of money falling on the right hands because they are ever so generous.
Do I want to be rich...in money? Sure I do, but only as God blesses me and I gain it honourably. Just the same, I am thankful for what I already have.