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Enough to go around

WLC Day #32

I have been going through a wonderful read lately, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. Totally worthwhile! In it, the authors mention the difference between Eastern and Western views of wealth. The Western way of thinking of wealth is that there is enough to go around; everyone can be wealthy if they just try hard enough. Eastern views on wealth are that there is only so much money and in order for one person to grow wealthy, other people have to grow poor.

I do not claim to know much about economics but I have a feeling that the Eastern viewpoint is more accurate than our Western mind would care to admit. The more wealth I accumulate, the less wealth there is available to other people (insignificantly, but still, the principle is there). Thus, if the American Dream is to become rich and famous then the underlying goal is to make other people poor and insignificant. Ouch.

Katie and I would like to grow our wealth someday. Mostly because we want to become debt-free and acquiring more money to give directly to the bank is a great way to do that (coupled with frugal spending habits). But more importantly because we want to live generous lives someday. We want to be able to fund missionaries, throw block parties for our neighbors, support local charities, and donate money to non-profits. We want to leave a generous legacy to our kids and our families.

But in order to do that, we have to take away money from other people.
I console myself in this thought by convincing myself that the people I would be taking money away from are the affluent high-brows with 7-figure incomes. Realistically, that is not the case. If I increase my wealth by $50 a month, there are 50 less dollars going to someone in the same situation as me.

The more wealth I am able to accumulate, the greater the need is for me to be generous and the greater the need is for me to be responsible with that wealth.
The more God entrusts to me, the more responsibility I need to have with those resources.

Matthew 25:23
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’

The question I have started to ask myself then, is not do I want to be wealthy, but am I ready to be generous and responsible with the wealth that is given me.

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