19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. (NIV)
19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor thanr to live it up among the rich and famous (MSG)
Matthew Henry Consice Bible Commentary (written in 1709 mind you) says it very well. “V 19 This is a paradox which the children of this world cannot understand and will not subscribe to, that it is better to be poor and humble than to be rich and proud. 1. Those that divide the spoil are commonly proud; they value themselves and despise others, and their mind rises with their condition; those therefore that are rich in this world have need to be charged that they be not high-minded, 1 Tim. 6:17. Those that are proud and will put forth themselves, that thrust, and shove, and scramble, for preferment, are the men that commonly divide the spoil and share it among them; they have the world at will and the ball at their foot. 2. It is upon all accounts better to take our lot with those whose condition is low, and their minds brought to it, than to covet and aim to make a figure and a bustle in the world. Humility, though it should expose us to contempt in the world, yet while it recommends us to the favour of God, qualifies us for his gracious visits, prepares us for his glory, secures us from many temptations, and preserves the quiet and repose of our own souls, is much better than that high-spiritedness which, though it carry away the honour and wealth of the world, makes God a man’s enemy and the devil his master.”
What was commented on 200 years ago sounds like today. We have advanced in many ways, yet we’re the same. “They value themselves and despise others” speaks volumes about what we see today. The reality is that we see it in the Church, ISIS, Black Lives Matter, academia, government, most everywhere, and in us. In our native state, we have an attitude of entitlement instead of stewardship; an attitude of me instead of us; an attitude of get instead of give. What do you get when you mix entitlement, me and get? An ugly cocktail of pain, subjugation, inequity, and loneliness.
This is not how Christ wants it. It’s not why He came and subjected himself to unimaginable pain to atone for our transgressions. He expects better from us, He is hoping for better from us. We can make a positive difference in the lives of others if we make the effort. He had given us a road map : detailed yet simple instructions to follow. How hard are you trying to change the world one act at a time? Will you lead by following?