How to Be Rich

March 5, 2014

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Rich is a matter of perspective. There is always someone richer than you and someone poorer than you.

My wife, Lindsey, wrote blog post which went off the charts with traffic right around Christmas this past year. The post was entitled,  “Kid’s, We’re Rich!”

In the post she offers this definition of wealth:

“I think God defines wealth as having enough to provide and care for your family and a bit more to do the same for some of those around you. If you are able to do that… you are rich… Instead of defining our wealth by how much we can consume, we should define it by how generous we are able to be. First to our family and then beyond.”

The entire post is worth a read! Take a look HERE!

How do you define rich?

Andy Stanley has a once a year event at his church centered around the idea that we are rich. He has put the main concepts into a book called, How to Be Rich: It’s Not What You Have. It’s What You Do With What You Have.

His church responded to this message in 2012 by raising 5.2 million in one week for local charities and giving 34,000 volunteer hours with an even more precious commodity; their time!

In his book, he lists these statistics on our wealth and our generosity.

People who earn around $50,000 US Dollars give about 6% to charity.

When you look at the earners in the $200,000 bracket, the amount drops to 4%.

The higher the income, the less people give away.

This element of human nature shows why Jesus responded so positively to the widow dropping the only two coins she had into the charity plate.

Gallup conducted a poll showing people defined someone to be rich who had roughly double what they earned. So we can’t say we are rich, because someone else is always richer.

Stanley cites that 96 percent of the world’s population earn less than $36,000 a year. This likely means you are in the top 4% of wage earners in the world. Many “poor” missionaries or humanitarian workers are rich – but they don’t think they are.

So it is one thing to admit we are rich, now we must work at being good at it.

Here are a few simple suggestions in the form of basic principles:

Be Generous.
Be Content.
Plan for the Future.
Spend Less than you Earn.

Proverbs 13:11 tells us “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

As someone who is considered “poor” by many of my peers because of my missionary life choices, I found Andy’s book very challenging.

Rich is so often a matter of perspective.

How about you? Do you consider yourself rich? 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God