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.
An area with a “wealth of resource” has more of that resource than is necessary – enough to support the resource needs of another area. Someone with a “wealth of information” has more than he or she needs – enough to share with others. Wealth is neither naturally evenly distributed, nor is its uneven distribution for the purpose of personal comfort or manipulating the servitude of others. Wealth is not given so that those who have much can take away even more from those who have little. But more on that later.
Let’s get back to the idea that USAmericans are among the most wealthy in the world. “How can that be,” you say, “when the stock market has tanked, my house is nearing foreclosure, and my car keeps breaking down?”
Good question. We have misunderstood our needs.
We, who have much resource, have squandered our resources on conveniences and indulgences. We have not taken our responsibility to the One who gave everything to us seriously. And, again, our perspectives are skewed. We have bought the lie of the Great Marketing Machine (Debt is Slavery – Michael Mihalik) that we are not truly wealthy unless we can afford a particular car or a specific cell phone or new computer. And then, in six months when the new model rolls out, we buy the lie that we absolutely must have the new one.
It’s a lie. We’re wealthy if we have enough resources to exist in our society and have something left over. We do not have to prove our value by what we are able to spend and squander. None of it is ours anyway.
Rather, we must understand the purpose of what we have been given. We must understand the heart and mind of God and line up with his Word.
Tune in next time when we take a look at what God would have us do with our plenty.