“Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.” — Denis Waitley

2 Corinthians 8:1-5
Hebrews 12:2
Luke 21:1-4

Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” The gist is that you can make more money through income-generating assets. Read: real estate. Kiyosaki claims to teach you how to make money the way his “rich dad” mentor, not his “poor dad” paternal father, taught him.

The “rich dad” can obviously teach you how to generate income, but can he necessarily teach you why you should make it?

Perhaps not. Perhaps the “poor dad” can, though.

We can learn from everyone. Rich dad can teach you to make money, to invest money. The poor dad teaches you what money is for. Or so he taught me.

I spent ten days in Cuba among the very poor people. My guide, a middle-aged teacher, took my friend and me through the neighborhood, his city, and his region. He prepared lavish meals for us, though when we left, he and his family returned to eating one or two simple dishes daily.

Money, he understood, is like the self. It does the most when it is poured out. As food is for eating and sharing, so money is for using, like any other resource. The dad would have you think that money itself is the point. The poor dad shows you that giving it away, that using it on and for others is the point. Hoarding it makes little sense.

Our guide took us to see his friends. A young couple gave us the same treatment, giving generously and asking nothing in return. The wife said us, “We should treat guests like this. We never know when we might entertain angels.”

Another man, a farmer, slaughtered one of his lambs to feed us. We ate dinner on the remains of his home, which was swept away by a hurricane. We feasted, sitting on a concrete footprint. That night, this man and his children would sleep in a 20-by-8 foot shack.

None of these paupers ever splurge in spending on themselves, but they do splurge on guests. They unload their coffers for friends, visitors, and strangers.

They get it. And it humbles the son of the rich dad, for he sees the poverty of his education. He sees the limits of his first-world perspective. He saves his best wines, champagnes, cognacs, and cigars. He doesn’t bless his guests this way, especially strangers.

What does Jesus say about the poor? He always tells us to “Look at them…” Perhaps in looking we’re to learn from them. We are to learn something about values, about money. We are to give it away. These who could most easily worship money due to their lack somehow hold it more loosely; somehow understand its place more than those with an abundance. That’s real wealth.

That’s the lesson of the poor dad.

What purpose does money have in your life?
Do you spend time with the poor?
What are the differences in the educations you receive from the wealthy and the poor? 


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