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Monday, November 22, 2010

On being rich

I guess I was in college the first time I was confronted with the "richness" of my lifestyle. I grew up in a middle income family that struggled to make ends meet, particularly in my high school years as my dad was in the midst of looking for new work at an older age. In fact, I would dare say that my family looked much like many of yours. Nice home, working cars, food on the table.

So, when my professor required us to read a book about how rich Christians in American were and how little we were doing with that wealth, I politely agreed and suggested someone do something to encourage those "rich" Christians to do more. It wasn't till later on in the book and our class discussion that I realized the rich Christians he referred to included me. I was astounded. He doesn't understand. There's no way I could be called rich. Yes, I had more than some but I also had far less than most.

That lesson on wealth has banged around inside my nearly hollow head for many years. From time-to-time, it would pop up, I would "acknowledge it" and then it would go away. I, in the mean time, would go back to my happy lifestyle.

Today, more than ever, I have been challenged by the reality that I am very blessed...and am not doing enough to make sure others are. I have been very blessed with many of the same things I had growing up--a nice house, running cars, healthy kids, a good job and plenty of food. The difference is that, today, I understand God did not bless me so that I could store it; He blessed me so that I could bless others.

As we roll into another Thanksgiving, I don't want it to be just "another" Thanksgiving. I am working hard to be more grateful than ever before. At the same time, I am praying that God would simplify my life so that my blessings may be used to bless others. Whether it's a single mom and her kids who live down the street from me or a family of eight in a one room hut around the other side of the world, I want to be able to make a difference. I'm praying God would open my eyes...and those of my kids...my wife...my friends...and my church family so that we may see all of those opportunities that God gives to us. I want to make a difference.

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:42 NIV

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