Are you rich?
Almost everyone (about 98% of Americans according to Gallup) answers “No” when asked, “Are you rich?” There are several factors that might contribute to a negative response:
• Most automatically assume the question relates to financial wealth.
• Most immediately think of people who are “much richer” than they are.
• Most rarely, if ever, reach the point where they are “as rich” as they’d like to be.
However, read these sobering statistics from Richard Stearns:
The average income in America is $38,611 per person or about $105 per day. Compare that to the shocking daily reality of almost half the people on earth:
• 2.6 billion people (40% of the world’s population) live on less than $2/day
• 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) live on less than $1/day
• 0.3 billion people (4.5% of the world’s population) live on $105/day (US)
There is an interactive website, based in London and using data from the World Bank, called the “Global Rich List” (www.globalrichlist.com). In a matter of seconds you can type in your income (in any of five international currencies) and learn just how “rich” you are.
For example, if a person’s annual income is $38,611 (the US per person average), they rank financially in the top 4% of everyone in the world. Whether we admit it or not, and whether or not we are satisfied with where we are, from a global perspective (and that’s how God sees the world) most of us are rich – very rich!
But what difference should that make? Paul gives Timothy some very specific instructions to those of us who are rich:
Command those who are rich … I Timothy 6:17
Andy Stanley has said that a lot of people want to tell us how to get rich, but it’s hard to find someone with good advice on how to be rich – and that’s especially important once we recognize that we already are rich. Paul gives that valuable advice in today’s chapter – I Timothy 6. It’s not only practical and pertinent … it’s inspired!
(Stearns information from The Hole In Our Gospel, pp 121-122, by Richard Stearns, Thomas Nelson, 2009)
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