How Rich are YOU?

Check out this site that allows you to enter your annual income and then computes your global standing in terms of wealth.

I was a little surprised at just how high up the ladder I am. After all I'm a United Methodist college minister. We're not typically the folks you see driving the BMWs or anything like that.

As I was pondering what this statistic means - I couldn't help but think of two things. Isn't it interesting that we very middle-class Americans typically think we don't have enough? We 'don't make all that much.' Our perception is SO skewed by living in a society where wealth is common. And (no doubt connected to that) ours is a society that trains us to think in terms of scarcity: we don't have enough, we need more. After all, this is good for the Almighty Economy, whom we serve.

But I suspect this attitude and way of looking at the world is poisonous to our souls. Ours is a generous God - so much so that he gives himself away - as the Creed puts it "for us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven...he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered death and was buried." That same God wants to overwhelm self-worship and form cross-shaped generosity and self-giving love in our lives.

If we are to follow this God, to love and share union with this God, if we are to bear his image in the world, then we must ever become a generous and giving people. This is why he has warned us that "to whom much has been given, from him much will be required" and taught us that "God loves a cheerful giver." That is who he is. That is what the people of his Kingdom must therefore be.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was talking about this on Sunday night with my Bangladeshi friend in California. Even the poorest here have more than most in his country. It really makes you look at things differently and count your blessings.

9:41 PM, September 09, 2008  
Blogger JD said...

Nice, Daniel, and so anti-prosperity gospel of you. Shame. {:^)

A discussion we should have often, and something my pastor brings up regularly being in such an affluent area of Houston.

Thanks again.


6:57 PM, September 10, 2008  
Blogger Clix said...

I see this a lot in my students. They equate future happiness with having a good job, which they define as "one that pays as much as possible." It's incredibly depressing. I mean, there is DEFINITELY something to be said for having enough money that you don't have to worry or wonder or stress about where your next meal will come from or if you'll have a safe place to live, but beyond that, it's really about relationships and helping others.

But when I say something like that, it seems like all they hear are empty platitudes...

11:06 PM, September 13, 2008  
Blogger Daniel McLain Hixon said...

hmmm, maybe you can ask probing questions so that they are the ones who end up saying that...somehow...

9:23 PM, September 19, 2008  

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