Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rich? Me?

You probably don't consider yourself rich. I know I don't. Does anybody? It's funny, most people I know, even ones who I would consider wealthy, don't think of themselves that way. Which makes reading some of Scripture much easier than it should be. Consider the first 6 verses of James 5. It starts out, "Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you." then goes downhill from there. Or take Jesus' words from Matthew 19:23 "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Passages like these should make you squirm a bit. But we conveniently assume they are talking about someone else. Certainly those passages don't apply to us, right?

See, if I focus on my bills, or my debts, or the coming college and wedding expenses, I can always make a case that we're just getting by. It's easy to forget the nice home, and all the things I own, and the 401k in the bank. Is it possible that I really am rich?

I came across the following link a while back, and it sort of jolted me into reality. I would strongly suggest taking this test at the Global Rich List.

Amazing, eh? My purpose here is not to elaborate on the theology of money and finances in the Bible, or to make judgment calls on who is rich or who isn't, or to make you feel guilty. My desire is that we would all ponder our financial situation and determine if we have been honest with ourselves in describing the reality of our finances. So maybe the next time you read or study one of these passages you will be willing to ask yourself the tough questions, knowing that Scripture is indeed talking to you.

Jerry

1 comment:

Don said...

Good stuff.

This is certainly a topic that can make a great deal of us very uncomfortable very quickly.

Like you, I certainly do not consider myself "rich" until I start to assess my financial condition against that of the world. The first time I put my income into the Global Rich List generator, I could not take it seriously because I could not view myself in that category it placed me. However, at the end of the day, those of us in "middle class" America have soooooooooooo much and take most of it for granted.

At tax time, using one of the more popular tax softwares, it offers to do an analysis of your income/deductions/giving by comparing it to the national average, I was appalled to see how little is being given away. On average, Americans give away less than 2% of ther gross income. Imagine what could happen if the "rich" truly gave like we have been blessed!

Luke 12:48 reminds us that "...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..."

Thanx
~D