Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thoughts On A Pampered Life

by Rev. James Wong

I do not like inconvenience, trouble, hard work and suffering. I do not think anyone likes any of these rough edges of life. I like living in affluence, having money to buy all the good things I want in life. My spending usually exceeds that of what I need to live with. Living in affluence is not a sin but we can be too indulgent.

Due to our affluence we can over-pampered ourselves. We are unable to resist the gratification of our whims and desires. We are unable to show restrain and our life is wrapped up in gaining and getting. We value less of family relationships and friendship and we put more value in things we can buy and own to satisfy our insatiable hunger for more.

There are over-pampered children. They get what they want easily and their only pressure probably is to get good grades in school, spending limited hours on computer games and restriction on outing with friends. Life is well planned and well supported, away from dangers, harm and life struggle. Comfort and ease is their language but they have no survival skill when faced with adversity.

Our affluence often blind our eyes to those who do not have a chance to have a good life and take the right pathway. I think of the girl who grew up in a loveless home environment, living with abusive parents who just lack parenting skills. I remember those who hide from place to place because they do not have the legal document to support their existence. Life seems unfair. Jesus said, “you will always have the poor among you” (Matthew 26:11). In the work of the gospel the apostles always “continued to remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10).

The greatest inspiration I get in life comes from those who began life with adversity where the tide of success is against them. I admire the kid who asked to polish my shoes. I salute the guy who approached me in the coffee shop to buy belts, calculators, sun glasses and a collection of other things . I respect the submission of the home servant who was allowed her freedom to leave the house only once a month. I am confounded by the ability of the guy who makes less than a thousand a month and raise a family of four.

I saw the inconvenience, trouble, hard work and suffering that Paul went through in sharing the gospel … “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea…” (2 Corinthians 11:25-28 NLT). Character is not built in an environment of ease and comfort. While living in affluence, let us take notice of those who begin life with adversity. Very often, they are the ones who show us what faith and dreams can do under the most unfavorable human circumstances of life. They have defied their odds.

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