How Rich Are You?
We have recently been going through a series at church about giving and generosity. For me, this is always a refreshing series because I am constantly challenged in thinking about how we are generous toward God. Giving is a spiritual matter, it is not a financial matter. God cares about our hearts, not our money. Money is one thing in this world that competes for our hearts. Money competes for our attention. It controls our desires and monopolizes our time. When we cannot separate from money that is rightfully all God’s, we put a wedge between us and our relationship with Him.
"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." – 2 Corinthians 9:6
Our pastor shared about how a series of interviews were conducted with people of various income levels. When a person who made $50,000 was asked if they were rich, they said no, but if they made $100,000, they would consider themselves rich. They then went on to ask people who made $100,000 and asked them if they considered themselves rich. They said no, but if they made $200,000, they would consider themselves rich. This went on for various levels of income. You can see the dilemma we all face. We never consider what we have to be enough. We always covet more.
He also shared about the following calculator to help put into perspective how we perceive our own wealth. It is always a valuable lesson to look at the world population when considering what God has blessed us with. This calculator helps put into perspective how wealthy we, as Americans, truly are.
In David Platt’s book, Radical – Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, he talks a lot about the trap of wealth in America and where we tend to focus our attention. He makes this statement that has always stuck with me, “But then I realize there is never going to be a day when I stand before God, and He looks at me and says, ‘I wish you would have kept more for yourself.’ I’m confident that God will take care of me.” This quote constantly reminds me of who I am living my life for and encourages me to live generously with all that He has provided for our family.
For me, it is always a great reminder to consider our wealth to the global standard. We, as Americans, are very wealthy. I believe we have a responsibility to honor God with our money. But more importantly, we need to honor God with our hearts. The Lord loves a cheerful giver. I believe he is looking at the heart and not the amount.
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7