Friday, July 29, 2011

You Are Not Poor!

Forgive me if I get a bit preachy in this post, but sometimes it happens. Nix that, you don't have to forgive me, but just listen for a minute.

Most College students are horrible with money. I frequently hear the claim they are "poor" or the one about "not having any money". Both really bother me.  It isn't the high-life of western civilization for most college students, but it definitely isn't living in a shack, the likes of which can be found a few miles down the road in Bryan. Even less is the "poverty" the likes of what is in the picture - found in the Philippines.

But, I digress. Do college students make some sacrifices. I would say yes. Yet, it is more the lack of sacrifice that most Americans have had to endure, rather than the true lack of money that is what causes the attitude of "poverty".

I work for the Catholic Church. I don't make a lot of money compared to the average person in a similar position in the secular world. But, I do not call myself poor, because I am not. I am able to comfortably provide for my family and myself. We live in a nice house, we eat well and we have good clothes. Money is tight sometimes, but I am ashamed when I say things like "I am broke". Because I haven't missed a meal because of a lack of food once in my life.

So, I thought I would count up some of my blessing and I invite everyone else to do the same.
  • I have the fullness of the grace of Christ offered to me through the Catholic Church.
  • I have the fullness of truth offered to me through the Church.
  • I have a wonderful family.
  • I have my health.
  • I have a great job.
  • I have life.
  • I am part of fewer than 1% of the world population that has a Master's degree.
  • I have great friends.
  • I can read, walk, see, hear, etc.
  • I can worship how I like.
  • I can post my opinion on the internet unlike others who are restricted by their government.
  • I can vote.
  • I am very RICH. I am BLESSED.
You are rich as well.

But, ton understand that you are "rich" might take an attitude adjustment and/ or a few changes in lifestyle.

If you are a college student who doesn't have a lot of money - please don't complain about eating Ramen noodles. Don't complain about not being
able to by the newest tech toy.

Learn to live without. Learn to be satisfied and content with what you need, not what you desire. Peace can be found in such an attitude. It is the attitude of abundance vs. the attitude of poverty.

If you want to develop this kind of attitude, then do a few things.
  • Ask God to give you this grace.
  • Stop complaining about what you don't have.
  • Start appreciating more what you do have.
  • Live off of a tight budget.
  • Tithe.
  • Tithe 10%!
  • Take the advice in this article.
When I talk to college students about budgeting I challeng them to track their expenses and see where they could make one sacrifice to then offer the money to a charity or give to their parish. A few years ago, one student found she was spending a ton of money on coffee at Starbucks. She cut back and started a regular donation to her parish.

It is as easy as that. That is, if you want to be rich.

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