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It’s not like I’m wealthy or anything

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : July 5, 2005

I don’t know how accurate this site is, but it sure as heck makes a great point.  Ever think "I’m really not that wealthy?" Ever get angry at those REALLY wealthy people who spend their resources on themselves and don’t give enough to the poor?  So, just to see where you end up on the scale between poor and rich take this test and read on…

***DON’T PROCEED UNTIL YOU’VE TAKEN THE TEST***

Ok, so you are rich.  Deal with it.  I’m trying to deal with it.  You can only tell yourself "it is different here in America" for so long.  Eventually, you realize that the wealthy have always felt that they are some exception to the challenges of Christ.  Wealthy compare themselves with the wealthy.  Sure some people are richer than you.  But you are wealthy.  And with great wealth comes great responsibility.  The idea of just giving 10% is rediculous.  To those given much, much
is required.  God doesn’t want a "cut." He wants it all and asks you to
live faithfully and with a sense of simple contentment.  Even in America.  ESPECIALLY in America.  So what are you going to do about it? Don’t ignore the question just because you don’t know the answer.  Struggle with the question.  I hope it plagues us until we start dealing. Here’s the thing: Most people can live simply in this country for pretty cheap.  I know some that live quite well off of 15K a year.  Use your wealth to serve others. 

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Comments

8 Responses to “It’s not like I’m wealthy or anything”

  1. Van S on July 1st, 2005 3:47 pm

    I feel like a huge failure in this. Sure, I’ve given to church and give money to help others all the time. But I spend more on myself and my wife WAYYYY more than I give to my poor brothers and sisters. I’m going to limit my going-out-to-eat budget and severely limit my entertainment budget. I’m going to lose weight so that I can find used clothes that fit me. We’re still trying to get our 2nd car fixed so that we can sell it and use that money for other things. I want almost all my income tied up in things that help others and help signal the inbreaking Kingdom of God.

  2. benrey on July 7th, 2005 3:16 am

    i read your article on the next-wave ezine called “Emerge, but for Pete’s sake avoid the liturgical kitsch”. it hit it right on the money. people are taking genuine articles of faith like cross, icons etc. and marketing them. taking the Holy and making it commercial. really good. i have been attending an anglican church for some time and i have noticed that many people come for about a month take the liturgy and run without fully embracing it and making their life a life of liturgy. again…great article.

  3. JV Dworak on July 7th, 2005 7:35 pm

    Van Steen - you are right on sometimes my wife and I are like, oh we can’t have this or that, and then realize our combined income is more than 90% of the world - and we are middle class here. My wife is really always pushing us to give more, and it never hurts us, much to my surprise as I am the conservative one - I agree with you - be way generous!

  4. Wendy on July 8th, 2005 8:56 am

    Van — Came across your blog via the article you wrote. What a coincidence that I, too, am involved in the house church movement! I am working with a few people in this area to start one in my town of Beaumont, TX. Despite the fact that your group and mine have never met, we definitely share the same values of using our resources to invest heavily in God’s kingdom. That’s gotta be a God thing! I’ve added your blog to my favorites list. Thanks and keep it up!

  5. Scott McCrae on July 9th, 2005 4:14 pm

    This is one reason why I chose nature as recreation. Doesn’t cost much after some guide books, packs, camara and binoculars.

    Eating out chews up a bunch of money.

    Think outside the box and don’t give a 2nd thought about the Joneses

    I have been driving a car I bought for $2,000 in 1996. It still runs good. 1987 Cavalier.

    Also I invest in the stock market giving some of the profit to missions. Matthew 25:16

    Give with joy. You can’t get the past back. Let Jesus fill your heart to give.

    A last thought, money many times is not the answer. Giving money could make the problem worse. Such as what is going on in Africa. A way needs to be provided so people can help themselves.

  6. Meghan on July 10th, 2005 12:31 am

    I work a part-time job, and I’m still making more money than most of the world! It’s crazy. I WILL give my money to the poor. I WILL take care of the orphans and the widows. The oppressed, the hurting and dirty and dying.
    I will NOT be selfish any longer. If that means buyin a few cases of 12 packs of cokes and goin downtown and handin them to the homeless (or not), so be it. I must DO something instead of just write, think and talk about it.
    Thank you for this.

  7. Van S on July 11th, 2005 7:46 am

    You are welcome. I’m convinced that issues of consumption and affluence are central issues facing American Christianity. Our faith has always had a lot to say about interpersonal economics, but as wealth and consumption becomes increasingly enmeshed in our cultural fabric, it becomes more urgent to respond faithfully.

  8. toddh on July 11th, 2005 3:15 pm

    Wow! That is one of the best tests ever. Way to put things in perspective. I’m with you on this being one of the central issues of American Christianity. It doesn’t get much more important, yet difficult to sort out, than this issue.

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