The Poverty Of The Soul

8 Aug

“The want of goods is easily repaired, but the poverty of the soul is irreparable.”  ~ Michel de Montaigne

Every so often throughout the years, I have been taken aback by a child’s Christmas wish list.  We are all familiar with the lengthy lists, are we not, of some children as that festive day approaches?  I have seen lists that take up more than one sheet of paper.

That is why I am taken aback once in a while when I hear a child that has only one item on his or her list.  That, in and of itself, is rare but that is not what takes me by surprise.  What grabs my intention is what they often plan to do with their sought-after gift.

I remember one time hearing a child say that she wanted a teddy bear for Christmas.  It was a very specific bear and she described it in great detail.  I asked her if she wanted that bear for a long time.  Her answer?  “It’s not for me.  It’s for one of my classmates.  They’re poor and she never gets anything. I want her to have something for Christmas.”

The purity of that moment often reminds me about the need to prioritize our lives.  Too many people crave things but the things are not important to our souls.  As a matter of fact, some things can be detrimental to our souls.  When we crave things more than we crave a relationship with God, our souls whither.

“The poverty of the soul is irreparable.”  That seems like such a strong statement to make.  It is, however, very true. If we allow our soul to become impoverished, we will get past the point of caring any longer and we will find our soul dying.

When a soul quits yearning for God, it gives up all hope.  In doing so, it begins to look to the world to supply creature comforts and we all know where that can lead us.  The things this world has to offer might appear nice but they cannot guarantee eternity with God.  When an impoverished soul no longer considers God, dire consequences await.

I write this not to make you fear as much as to make you consider just where you are in your own spiritual journey.  Do the things of the world matter more to you than the ways of God? Do you crave the things that the world has to offer? Have you paid less attention to your spiritual life lately?

Let this be an invitation to prioritize, once again, your lives. Enjoy the world and what it has to offer but do not allow it to have control over you.  Instead, while enjoying the world, focus on your relationship with the Lord for He is our rock and our shield and He is the way to eternal life.

FAITH ACTION:  Evaluate your life and see if you need to make any changes so that you value the Lord more and the world less.