But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:6-9 ESV)
Who is someone you consider rich? It’s probably someone who has more wealth than you. We tend to compare ourselves to others around us, and what others have can quickly become our “measuring stick” for contentment and thankfulness. This is often magnified when we face financial hardships. With many people in our nation facing financial difficulties, it’s very easy to focus on what we don’t have rather than how God has faithfully provided for us. If we’re able to take a step back from our immediate and urgent circumstances and look the rest of the world, we can quickly see that God has taken care of us much more than we realize. Chances are that many people reading this are in the top 10% of the world’s richest people. Really—no kidding!
If you have shelter, own a TV, and a car you qualify. According to the Global Rich List:
If you make $20,000/year you are almost in the richest 11%.
If you make $30,000/year you are almost in the richest 7%.
If you make $50,000/year you are in the top 1% of the world’s richest people.
See where you rank at http://www.globalrichlist.com/
Richard Steams puts it this way in his book, “The Hole In Our Gospel:”
It is important to put the American Church in perspective. Simply stated, it is the wealthiest community of Christians in the history of Christendom. How wealthy? The total income of American churchgoers is $5.2 trillion. (That’s more than five thousand billion dollars.) It would take just a little over 1 percent of the income of American Christians to lift the poorest one billion people in the world out of extreme poverty. Said another way, American Christians, who make up about 5 percent of the Church worldwide, control about half of global Christian wealth; a lack of money is not our problem.
When you look at the rest of the world you are probably a very wealthy person. How does this impact your attitude of contentment and thanksgiving? How does this impact the responsibility you have with the resources God has given you?
Lead Pastor @Genesee Road Church of God.