One of the most common complaints I hear about politicians and people in powerful positions is that all they are after is more money. While this may be true in some cases, it is highly improbable that all of them are, in fact, I happen to know quite a number of wealthy, powerful people who are actually quite generous with their wealth, however, this does not stop people who are ignorant of the generosity of the wealthy person from assuming they attained thier wealth through greed. In today’s proverb, Solomon makes the observation,
26 People curse those who hoard their grain,
but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
Proverbs 11:26 (NLT)
It would seem logical that people would not be very impressed with those who hoard more than they need, particularly when there may be others who are in need of what they are hoarding. It would also be logical to assume that people would be appreciative of those who allow the wealth they have to be used in a time of need.
A little over ten years ago we lived in a community that experienced an unexpected flash flood that destroyed about 80% of the homes and businesses in the community. It was not a large community, but to those of us who lived there it was a disaster of epic proportions. It was interesting to me to observe which people in the community stepped up to the challenge of meeting the challenge of feeding and housing displaces families. There were also a few who took the opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of their friends and neighbors, which was not well received by the rest of the community.
One of the observations I made in that experience was that the way people talk about other people often reveals more about the one talking than it does about the person they are talking about. When we talk negatively about people who have more than we have, and make the assumption that they are greedy people, our assumption about the person in question may or may not be true, but the way we talk about it often reveals our own greed as well. Similarly, when we give people the benefit of the doubt and speak well of them, it also reveals the generous nature of our own heart.