How Wealthy Am I?
How wealthy am I?
That is a question I asked recently, and the answer astounded me.
Here are some stats for you.
If you are reading this blog, that means you most likely have a device worth at least a couple hundred bucks, or access to one. When we consider that the average yearly income worldwide is about $9,733, and that a third of the world’s population survives on less than $2 per day (that’s less than $800 per year), which is about the the cost of a new iphone, we begin to see how financially blessed we are. Simply because you have the ability to read this article, indicates that you are in the top 50% wealthiest people in the world.
If you live in Canada or the USA and have a home that you own or rent , and a full time job, and car, you are richer than 85% of the people in this world. Even if you are living pay-check to pay-check and lose sleep over it. Even if you and the Mrs. fight about finances and it all seems dim and hopeless…you are exceedingly financially wealthy.
Now consider that if you have any money saved, if you can afford to go on a vacation, if you have a hobby that requires some equipment or supplies, a variety of clothes in your closet, two cars (in any condition), and have a mortgage on your own home, you are in the top 5% of the world’s wealthy. This is where I, and most of my friends, fit. It is staggering to consider that we are richer than 6,935,000,000 other people. That is six billion nine hundred and thirty five million people have less than us… Puts things in perspective doesn’t it?
Finally, if you have more than $500,000 in assets (RRSP’s, savings, stuff, a house that is paid in full, land, a farm, a business etc.) you are in the top 1% richest people in the world. You don’t have to be Bill Gates to be in the top 1%.
Our Lord Jesus says in Matthew 19, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. As we play with our toys, go to our middle class jobs, watch our bank accounts, plan vacations to tropical paradises, renovate our homes, drive our cars, and go to sleep with full belly’s in our comfy beds in temperature regulated homes, it becomes painfully clear whom Jesus is speaking to:
He was not merely talking to the Scrooge McDucks and Bill Gates of the world…
He was talking to me.
He was talking to you.
People who have a home, even if it is a cramped basement suite or single wide trailer…both of those “humble dwellings” are palatial compared to the mud huts and dirt floors of the world. A lot of you reading this have so much more. If you have a majestic chariot in the driveway, even a Dodge Caravan that is 15 years old, and is puffing smoke, you have more than most in the world who only have calloused and dirty feet.
We have so much food,
so much entertainment,
so many toys,
So much affluence, yet we say in our hearts, “Jesus is not speaking of me, I am not rich, I do not have a hot tub, a Mercedes, a (insert what you covet here).” All the while Jesus is there mediating for us, saying, forgive them Father…they know not what they do…
Jesus did not have a freezer full of food, but he gave to any who would hear, the food of life.
He is the food of life.
Jesus was not saying that the rich could not enter heaven, but that it would take a supernatural act of God to regenerate the hearts and minds of those who both have plenty – or nothing. You see, it is all about him, not about us, or our things. Regardless of our financial standing in this world, we are all debtors. We were all dead in our sins. And God came to us miserable debtors that we were, and paid it all in full with the precious blood of his Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ. Now we have the opportunity to share that love with others. It is all about loving God and our neighbour, not about loving ourselves.
So this Sunday, as we put on our tailored suits, and drive our expensive vehicles to our to our air conditioned, palatial, church buildings and sit in our padded pews, next to others who are also in the top 5% of the world’s elite, and as we toss a few bucks in the offering bag, we do well to consider what it is we place our value in, and how we can share his love, his gospel, and his money with those who have less.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:16-18