Jesus once said something that I always believed referred to someone other than me. He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to make it to heaven. I was safe because I am not rich. I’m comfortable, but not rich. The same is true of you, right? Then it hit me like a knife in the heart.
Who are the rich people in the world? If you make more than a dollar a day you live better than 20% of the world’s population. Everyone in the top 20% of the wealthiest earns at least a whopping $1,800 a year! Let that hit home. If you earn more than $1,800 a year, you’re in the top 20%. If you earn over $25,000 a year, you re in the top 10 percent of the world’s wealthiest. Get this, if you earn over $47,000, then you’re wealthier than 99 percent of all humanity; you’re among the top 1 percent of the wealthiest people on the planet! Let that sink in for a minute.
Now, if it’s true, say it: “I’m one of the wealthiest people on the planet.” That’s reality. For most of us reading this, God has given you and me more wealth and ability to change things than 90 percent of humanity. This just rocks me to the core of my being. And then there’s this thing Jesus said that I’ve never really liked; “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Does that say anything to you?
But something is so terribly wrong. Though most Americans are in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest, we’ve believed lies that we aren’t wealthy! Gallup Survey reports that only 2% of Americans think they are wealthy, 98% feel they don’t have enough yet. Think of how evil and deceptive that lie is.
The Bible says, Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1Tim 6:17-19
God richly provides everything for our enjoyment— it’s not wrong to enjoy all that he’s richly provided. But he blesses us to be a blessing. He wants us to willingly, generously use it to do good.
(Adapted from Soul Revolution, by John Burke)