Saturday, September 13, 2008

i'm filthy rich

Many years ago, I took part in a Poverty Simulation with Mission Waco. In one of the sessions, my friend Jimmy Dorrell explained the incredible gap between American affluence and the rest of the world. If my memory serves me correctly [and my recent data gets me in the ballpark], the United States comprises 5% of the world's population but consumes almost a quarter of the world's resources. We are users, hoarders, getters.

In my research for the My Simple Life series, I stumbled across a sobering website that puts my personal income in context with the rest of the world [see Global Rich List here]. I won't spoil the surprise for you. But, when you're finished inserting your annual salary and review the results, you might start tithing to your church, giving to a local compassion agency or checking out Kiva to see how you might put some of your dollars to work as a blessing to those much further down the wealth continuum.

On a related note: The compelling reason why my financial riches should pour over into the world is because of the spiritual riches that I enjoy in Christ. Paul writes, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" [2 Corinthians 8:9]. I don't just make a decent annual income, I enjoy a marvelous eternal income. God has "met all of my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" [Philippians 4:19]. I'm filthy rich. So much so...I can afford to give so much away.

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