PARADOX 4: To Be Rich You Must Become Poor
By Bill Steensland
A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself. If I said, "The sun is very hot today, so I must start a fire to keep warm" that would be a paradox.

The Bible has many statements that seem to contradict themselves.

2 Corinthians 8:9 says, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."

How can Jesus become poor and make me rich? If a rich man gave his money to me, then he would be poor and I would be rich. But Jesus did not give me money. Jesus offers to give us something worth much more than money.

Would you like to become rich? Most people would answer, "Yes, of course." In some countries there are national lotteries telling poor people they might become rich if they just buy a lottery ticket. It is a form of gambling and very few people become rich playing the lottery. But many people buy lottery tickets hoping they might be the one who wins.

Once a rich young man came to Jesus and asked him how to get eternal life.

In Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Jesus told this rich young man to sell his things and to give the money to the poor in order to have treasure in heaven. The Bible says "when the young man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich."

Some people say, "I want to be like Jesus" until they hear that Jesus was rich and became poor.

It is true that when we become followers of Jesus the treasures of this earth are no longer important because our real treasures are waiting for us in heaven.

The Bible says in the book of Philippians 2:6-7, "Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. He gave up everything and became a slave when he became like one of us."

Jesus did not tell everyone he met to go and sell their possessions and then come and follow him. The rich young man had his riches in first place in his life. Jesus wanted to be first in the life of the rich young man life. If you would follow Jesus you must put Jesus first in your life above everything else. Then you will truly be rich. It is a paradox; to be rich you must become poor.
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