A very wealthy man whose little son enjoyed the comforts of their lovely mansion took him through a very poor village to spend a day to give him a feeling of what poverty is. When they returned, the dad asked his son what he saw.


The boy said, “I see, we eat packaged food and canned stuff, they grow their own vegetables and eat fresh, we have chandeliers for light and decoration but they sleep under the starlit skies, we have two highbred dogs they have dogs all over the village barking at us strangers, we have a swimming pool and they have an ever-flowing river, we have computer games and they have children who spring about and play around with each other, we hardly know anybody in the neighbourhood but those people seem to everybody’s name in the village, we have no time to talk to each other but those parents spend so much of time with their children. I realised indeed how poor we are, dad, very poor we are, when compared to them.”

His father was awestruck. He hugged his little son as his heart struck a chord. We can sometimes experience poverty amidst plenty. Our happiness can never subsist in material things. There are people who have possessions but are not happy and there are those who hardly have much, but are happy and content in life. We can possess the whole world but suffer a loss of identity. The worst form of poverty is the feeling of being unloved and uncared for.


Methodist preacher and spiritual writer William Edwin Sangster when visiting the US many years ago once wittingly remarked, “You seem to have more of everything than anyone else. You have more cars, more televisions, more refrigerators, more of everything. In fact, I also noticed you have more books on ‘how to be happy’ than anybody else.”


Messiah cautioned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions,” (Luke12:15). The real possessions that bring happiness are those that money cannot buy. The love between husband and wife, between parents and children and between friends bring you real happiness.


Jesus told a young man who came to him asking for the way to eternal life:
“Go and sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will store up treasures in heaven: come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions,” (Mathew 19:21-22). Jesus surely did not intend that the man suffer material poverty but asked him cease being possessive of all that he had to experience true happiness.


If you are experiencing poverty amidst plenty, then cease being possessive over people and things.