In the news this past week, it was reported that one percent of the world’s population owns about $110 trillion, or about half of the world’s wealth, which is 65 times the total wealth of those on the bottom half of the wealth distribution. The income gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. Laws written by the wealthy seem to be benefitting the wealthy.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
In the parable of the seeds Jesus explains…
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19
In the US in 2011 the median household income was close to $50,000 per year. Worldwide, most people get by on around $2000 per year. So as we are pointing our fingers at the top 1%, let us remember that in the eyes of most of the world – we are the wealthy. Jesus said that it is difficult for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Their wealth and their possessions are too precious to them. Where their treasure is, there their hearts will be also.
Wealth, in a Biblical worldview, comes from God and is to be used for His purposes. Listening to and even reading statistical reports on wealth distribution here in the US, and globally, is disheartening. Scripture warns us against the folly of wealth, and especially warns us against the love of money. As an American, I feel blessed that God chose for me to live in this country. He has provided more than I need – as you can easily tell by taking a look around my home – so that I may share with others in their need. I truly am wealthy in this world. As such, I need to heed God’s word. I must be generous, doing good, ready to share. I have to be a good steward with the resources God has given me. If I spend every dime on myself and my family, I have nothing to be generous with.
God will hold me accountable (as He will do with EVERYONE including the top 1%) for what I have done with all that He has blessed me with. I don’t want to be the servant who buried his master’s treasure so as not to lose what he’d been given. I want to be the one who invested his master’s money and earned a good return on what he invested. (Matthew 25:14+) I want to store up treasure (in heaven) for a good foundation for the future.
Lord, help me to appreciate what You’ve given to me. Help me not be envious of others or to covet what they have. Show me where You would like for me to do good works. Help me be wise in my generosity as I seek to build that future foundation. Open the eyes and hearts of the Christians in America to see Your will. For Your Word says to those who are faithful in the small things, they will be entrusted with larger things. Thank You Lord for showing us how truly wealthy we are. Amen.
Do not be deceived.
Be faithful and generous with what God has given you.
Be encouraged. Press on.