Project 365: Learnings from Sirach

I know I should write a decent post; since writing one for the trash bin won't do this project any justice.

Day 3: Unexpected learnings from the Bible

I recently tried to read the Bible. And I realized, as I was quite surprised, that most of its teachings were practical and very much applicable to our daily lives. A set of verses about the responsible use of wealth particularly struck me as it goes against what I believed the church was propogating.

It isn't right for someone who is selfish to be rich. What use is money to a stingy person? If you deny youself in order to accumulate wealth, you are only accumulating it for someone else. Others will use your riches to live in luxury. How can you be generous to others if you are stingy with yourself, if you are not willing to enjoy your own wealth? No one is worse off than someone who is stingy with himself; it is a sin that brings its own punishment.

Sirach (14: 3-6)

Of course it is important to draw a line between enjoying your wealth and totally disregarding the plight of the poor and the underprivileged. While we should not go to extremes and treat this passage at mere face value, I realized that enjoying your wealth is not at all a sin. Blessings are a result of divine providence, and it is by this that we gain the right to enjoy whatever God has bestowed upon us. It is not a sin to be rich. Neither it is a sin to be talented and smart. Thus, one should not be morally punished by society if he is fortunate enough to be wealthy. Or perhaps cursed because he is intellectually superior or more talented. However, being rich or superior in any manner brings upon it the moral responsibility of helping others more, since I believe that what one gives must be at least proportionate to what he has.

It is quite insightful to read the Bible. I am planning to read it more often. The books on wisdom lend a good perspective on things that we usually encounter in our lives. I think it is a folly to ignore things that could make us potentially wiser.

P.S. I am not a bible scholar. I believe though that God has granted us sufficient logic to have a grasp of these things. I am a mere mortal looking at the vastness of God's wisdom.