Friday, October 9, 2009

Those who are rich

Do you ever think of yourself as rich? If you are like most Australians, I doubt it. We have grown to think of the rich as those who have million dollar houses, boats, and a couple of European cars sitting in the driveway.

The Bible encourages us to think differently. My McArthur Study Bible defines "rich" as those who have more than they need to live upon. If you are reading this on a computer right now, chances are that you are rich according to this definition. What do we need in order to live? Basic food, a few pieces of clothing, and shelter. So 1 Timothy 6:17 - 19 applies to us:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.

In the second week of our recent trip to South Africa, I felt an immense conflict in myself about how rich I was and how little I did in this world. I was so obviously rich in a place where many are obviously poor, and it seemed like the only people I ever talked with were equally rich . . . what did this mean for who I was and my place in the world?

Then God comforted me. He reminded me that God had given me these "things" that make me rich. He had given us the money to not only own a car but also hire one, to not only own a home in Tasmania but also hire lovely places to stay in South Africa. Yes, this was luxury. Yes, God had given it. Given it to enjoy, not to feel guilty about.

I don't understand why there is so much inequality in this world. The Bible says that God decides who will be rich and poor (see 1 Samuel 2). I don't understand why he doesn't even things out more! However, it is not my job to question God. It is my job to be grateful and obey. That means being ready and willing to give, and actively pursuing a lifestyle of good works. This is basic to my place in the world as one of those who are rich.


  1. well written!
    My husband and I are not "rich" but we do have a fairly above average income due to his computer job. We have been doing something a bit new for us in regards to giving at church. Rather than just pay our tithe and sponser a missionary or 2, we now pray about just where the Lord would have us serve or give and lately it has been to several local (our pastor calls it missions) missions or projects that our own church is involved in. for instance we felt led to give a sum of $ to my youngest daughter's ministry she dances be used for the ones in the ministry who might not be able to afford the next costume for the next show....that sort of thing. It doesn't seem like a lot but because we see the fruit of what is happening it is helping us to want to give more for the Kingdom!
    Haven't been here in a while...had a super that I am back to a routine I'll try to stop in more often...your baby is getting so big..he is precious!!!!

  2. Hello Faith, it is lovely to have you drop by again! Glad you had a good summer, and that God is inspiring you to give more of your earthly wealth away . . . it is all ultimately HIS anyway, isn't it! I often forget that. It is always good to find more ways to be generous. As the passage says "ready to give, willing to share".