Friday, June 29, 2012

The Comfort of the Rich (Giving Back)

But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. ~ Luke 6:24 (New International Version)

I take a look at the world around me and I see rich Godly people, or rather people who think they are Godly.  They have pretty houses.  They have nice cars.  They live a life that appears to be filled with luxury.  They have every comfort their heart desires.

I then take a look at the poorer Godly people.  What they have they tend to share because they are constantly aware that there is someone less fortunate than themselves.  There are poor people who give all they can to further the church of God, believing that God will reward them when they get to heaven.  These people may not have running water in their homes.  They may not have electricity.  They may not have more than 2 rooms (and by 2 rooms I mean living area and sleeping area).  Their homes may be made out of course materials, but these people make the most of it and they are, for the most part, happier than the wealthy rich people, because these people know that God is their salvation and if they follow God’s commands then they will be blessed, if not in this life then in the next.

Then I take a look more in depth at the lives of these rich people.  Some of them are working 12 hours a day to maintain this lifestyle.  Others have no true friends at all.  And yet others hardly have any family to speak of.  A lot of these rich people are selfish.  They care only for the wealth of this world.

I take a look more closely at the lives of the poorer Godly people.  Some of them are working 12 hours a day to survive, but they have friends and they have family.  They are unselfish and share the little they have.  They care only about surviving, serving God and serving others.

How different the world once was.  I remember hearing a story about a fairly wealthy man who was born in 1890.  He very rarely gave money to a church.  He also very rarely gave money to charity.  But he did something far greater than either of these things.  He gave 3 people employment and provided a loving home for a wife who was not an intelligent women in the modern sense, but had a good heart (you can read her story at the end of my What are you living for? post).  What I want to focus on about his life was that he gave 3 people employment.  That was how he gave back to the community.  He10679_wpm_lowres employed a poor person to work his garden and help as a handyman in his home.  He employed another poor person to be a full-time cook.  And he employed another poor person to be a full-time maid in his house. 

This man was fairly wealthy, but he was giving.  When the fruit trees in his garden overflowed with their fruit, he didn’t store it up and let it go off.  He would pick out the best and take it to his poorer neighbours.  He would send some home with his servants.  When there were roses blooming in the garden, he would pick one and put it in a vase on his daughter’s dressing table for her to find when she got home from school.

My point is, in this, that he shared his comforts with the people around him, unlike in the modern world where people store up their comforts here on earth.  They have their happiness in their selfish richness, and Jesus said that will not end well for them.

What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now ~ Luke 6:24 (New Living Translation)

But we can overcome this problem.  We can God’s commands.  We can “Do good and share with others” as said in Hebrews 13:16 and we can:

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ~ Matthew 6:20 (New International Version)

Do good to others.  You don’t have to employ a cook, a gardener or a maid, but when you buy things, buy from poor people who are doing everything they can to provide for their family.  People who are just trying to break even at the end of the month and are not trying to build up their riches here on earth.

Buy homemade products instead of products made by big corporations.  Visit the farmers market instead of the grocery store.  Go to the corner cafe instead of the MacDonald’s.  Give back in your community rather than to the corporate world.  And what is more, write letters of thanks to people who have blessed you.  Follow up and build relationships with the people here on earth.  Be a witness to your family, friends and community!

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