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?
Quite simply, we have wealth so that the will of God can be done on earth. We can accomplish this by doing one thing – following the leading of the Holy Spirit to align our lives to the Word of God. It is important to know and follow the written word of God and it is also important to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If we do that, we will see his “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Bible tells us plenty about being wise with our money, about increasing resources, about paying Tithes, and about helping the poor. But we, without the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit, lack the ability and wisdom weigh priorities and to search the depths of our hearts to find the heart of God.
How do we know whether to invest or give away some money? The Bible and the Holy Spirit.
How do we know whether to save or spend? The Bible and the Holy Spirit.
Now wait a minute! Shouldn’t this be simple? Isn’t God’s will that all have the same?
First, it is simple. Follow God.
Second, I don’t think it’s God’s will that we all have the same resources. While poverty and power struggles are a symptom of sin, God also designed each of us to be unique. We each have resources that God gave to us alone – even after sin entered the world.
It is because of sin that we have poor. And it is because of sin that those who have much withhold what they have from the poor or, worse, use it to take away what little the poor have. This, too is an opportunity.
Shouldn’t we just take from those who have and give it to those who do not?
Consider for a moment that forced charity is not charity at all.
The mandated redistribution of wealth is necessary only because some of those who “have” will not share and because some of those who “have not” will not do what is necessary to “have”. This is sin. But by the same token, it is really God’s will for us to choose to redistribute our wealth as we choose to obey him – just the same as Jesus did.
To be sure, we don’t do a great job of this. Neither do our governments. We are, after all, selfish and untrusting, so we don’t always obey God. In fact, but for the grace of God, sin would win and all of us would be impoverished in every way. It is the greatest gift of God that he has given us eternal life through Jesus and made us joint heirs with him in all of the wealth of eternity.
God’s will is for the wealthy to trust, follow, and obey him as they grow in relationship with him and, thereby, bring the Kingdom of God to earth. And I think that it’s God’s will for the poor to trust, follow, and obey him as they grow in relationship with him and, thereby, bring the Kingdom of God to earth.
So, here’s what it comes down to: your resources are an opportunity for you to follow God and be a part of his “will [being] done on earth as it is in heaven.”