Leadership in government and business today is often equated with the creation of wealth, and growing the economy. [Psalm 72:1-7] calls for the creation of justice. Treating others with fairness and dignity is the “rain” that helps them to grow and be fruitful.
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Wealth (money, land, intelligence, talent, etc) is unevenly distributed and with wealth comes the choice of what to do with it. There are many options but if we follow God, it’s impossible to be wrong.
Today I’d like to look at a couple of ways that we can give back – money and effort. After all, because wealth isn’t limited to money, there are many ways that we can give from our wealth to help others.
Additionally, I’d like to focus on two philosophies and look at our options to give based on those two philosophies.
- We should give daily needs to those who are most in need.
- We should help others so that they can “support themselves”.
In these, we find balance between James writing that if we see a brother or sister in need and send them away with nothing but a blessing, we have done nothing and Paul’s statement that if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat.
There are options for both of these. To help those who cannot help themselves and also to give the dignity of work to those who are able. Continue reading
The uneven distribution of wealth – resource, money, power, intellect, talent – is an opportunity. An opportunity much greater than the sum total of our resources.
Obviously, as with every opportunity we’re given, we have the option of how to use, misuse, or fail to use it. Resources can be increased, improved upon, traded, ignored, squandered, and given away and God has a plan for us in this, too.
Let’s consider for a moment the options of a man with $100 in his pocket. Just having that money creates options for him that he would not otherwise have. He can buy $100 of candy. He can keep the $100 in his pocket. He can put it in a savings account. He can lend it to somebody else. He can give it to someone in need. Or nearly any combination of the options above and many we haven’t reviewed.
In the same manner, lets consider the person with average musical talent. That person, with practice, time, opportunity, and guidance can improve that talent until it is a bona-fide skill. And then that skill, built on talent, can be used to improve the lives of others, be traded for livelihood, or simply bring joy.
So, then, if we are wealthy in one way or another what is the purpose of our wealth? What is the opportunity? Continue reading
The purpose of wealth is influence rather than affluence. Charity rather than impression. Service rather than indulgence or personal increase.
The misuse and abuse of wealth is epidemic across the earth. In a world where thousands daily die for lack of water while others work to simply make their own lives easier we have clearly misunderstood wealth and its purpose. We have both lost sight of what constitutes wealth and have little, if any, perspective on how wealthy we really are.
We are wealthy. As USAmericans, we are a wealthy nation. And as believers in Jesus, we must both shift our perspective on what is wealth, take responsibility for what we have been given, and use our wealth to accomplish the purposes of the Kingdom of God.
We seem to believe that wealth is “just a little bit more” than what we have. That those who are wealthy beyond our imagination are the only people who are wealthy. But wealth is simply having more than we need. Continue reading