OKAY, this is kinda burara. In a rush again!
Inspired by two events:
1. Re-reading Chinkee Tan‘s book Rich God, Poor God
(image from Chinkee Tan’s blog)
2. Receiving comments about my clothes
The latter one, I swear, is not boasting of any kind. If I may boast, it will be in the fact that God is the best Dad who always give me decent clothes to wear. However, being told that I’m dressing more bongga (their words) and more consciously than before led to some thinking on my part – mostly because there’s the insinuation behind it saying, “look how rich you are.”
I’m not making this up. When I was about seven, I got into a fight with one of my cousins (now in the States) about our supposed “wealth”. The conversation went like this (yes, it’s that vivid in my memory):
Me: I’m not rich kaya!
Him: Yes, you are! Who owns this school?
Me: They don’t…
Him: See? See? So you’re rich.
Me: No nga! Our school does not make money!
Him: Basta. You’re rich.
Me: Eh you nga eh, your family owns a bakery!
And it went on and on. However, the occasional teasing and silent judgment never stopped. All because of the fact that my parents started a school. Yes, my parents established a school because of God’s calling and by God’s grace, but I can’t explain to each and every person I meet that the school is non-stock, non-profit. In layman’s terms, it doesn’t aim to make a profit as its main goal – and if it does, all of the funds go to the school. It never goes to the personal accounts of the principal or the guidance counselor, who happen to be my parents. All they receive is the salary – which, as we know is the condition of teachers in the Philippines, is not enough at times. But you can’t exactly monologue this to everyone who gives you that “you’re rich” look, right?
Not to say that I don’t want to be rich. Many times, materialism has reared its ugly head on me just because of that issue. However, I thank God that my parents taught me to work for what you want, and never complain about your present condition – because everything you have is given by God. Complaining equals telling God that you know better than He does, and what He’s given isn’t good enough. Dare you?
So, I work. I’ve spent countless vacations and summer breaks slaving away and complaining that I’m working instead of chillin’ at the beach or surfing the Internet for the whole day. I’ve given up teaching a million times in the past because of working. And yet, once I receive the fruits of my labor, I’m reminded to be thankful to God for the ability to work and make money. Whenever I salivate over the newest pair of heels or the cutest color of nail polish, I immediately remind myself that I have to work for this. I’m also reminded that, ultimately, what you want to be and what you want to have is in your hands.
I can’t cite this, because I was in downloading frenzy when I got this. Haha! But true, right? If you want to be rich, think rich everyday. And most importantly, act rich. Act rich not meaning buy everything beyond your means, but act rich meaning working your hardest each and every day because something rewarding awaits you in the end. In the book I mentioned earlier, Rich God Poor God, Chinkee Tan says a very simple truth: we have a rich God. Sometimes, we trap God into the idea that He’s someone stingy, who doesn’t provide, who enjoys seeing us slave away. And yet the simple truth is, He is very much willing to give us our heart’s desire, as long as we follow Him and remain faithful to Him.
I’ll update this soon with Scripture that proves this. 🙂 Bottom line, God is out to bless us, not make us suffer. The rest actually really depends on us.
Together, I hope we can encourage ourselves to think rich, act rich, and believe in our rich God who gives us everything. 🙂