I was reminded recently of a problem I feel many successful Christians have in relation to how they feel about "sharing their wealth". I know a large number of men and women whom I either went to Bible School with or served with in the ministry I was in for many years. Although I don't communicate much with many of these people, I have had occasion to speak with a few them over the years.
If there has always been one subject we disagree on, it deals with the reason why God would choose to bless or prosper a particular person or group of believers. Most, if not all of those I knew from my "previous life" all feel very strongly that if they get blessed by God financially, it is so that they can live a prosperous life complete with everything they want or need to be happy. In other words, the reason God prospers someone is so that they can enjoy their prosperity.
All who feel this way live in very expensive homes, drive very expensive vehicles, wear top of the line designer clothes and sent their children to exclusive private schools all the way through college. These people are all extremely nice and courteous and pleasant to be around. But, there is one thing they all (without exception) lack and that is the willingness or even the capacity to FREELY GIVE. Although many do share of their abundance, I know of none who literally give ten percent of their income.
I feel that if God sees fit to bless and prosper someone, it is so that they can in turn give to help someone who is in dire straits and hurting in some way. I fail to see why God would only bless certain children while demanding the rest live as paupers, in the throes of poverty or on the streets. Why would a loving God be so callused to show such disrespect toward His own children?
When I was attempting to locate donors to help victims of hurricanes, chronic poverty and injustice a few years ago; I sought out and talked at length to many of these people I once knew and served alongside with years ago. Words cannot begin to express the shock, hurt and pain I felt as one by one these people told me that they thought I was crazy for wasting my life trying to help "poor people". With only a couple of exceptions, there was absolutely no willingness to share, no desire to know the stories of those I was trying to help and no interest in giving even one dime to even help me.
In many respects, the failure on my part to find financial partners doomed my attempt to start a charity from scratch. Many people who had very little in this life were more than willing to share their ten or twenty dollars (which to them was a fortune), but I never came close to persuading anyone who had great material wealth stashed away in secret accounts to give even ONE dollar. This failure haunts me, for I feel like I betrayed those who counted on me to help them.
Why would God bless His children with material blessings? Is it really just so that they can live like everyone else in the world? Is it really just so that they can have every toy and item of convenience known to man? Is it so they can live a life to be envied by others who have more money than they know what to do with? Does God really just "bless" some of His kids because He is bored and doesn't know what else to do with His power and grace?
If I were your brother and our father was one of the richest men on earth, do you really think that he would give one of us 100 million dollars to go "play with" while telling the other "sorry"? Would this be the manifestation of love? To bless one while withholding blessing from another for no reason other than personal like or dislike is not the way God operates.
I believe one of the reasons that God's people over the centuries (both Jews and Christians) have failed to be blessed inwardly the way God desired is because of their selfishness in regard to what they obtain and accumulate in this life. It is appalling how many of God's people who have wealth in this life are flat out stingy, selfish and unwilling to give to even their own children at times.
I have been told over the years that I was extremely generous, extremely stupid and extremely irresponsible all because of my penchant for outrageous giving. I can't help myself when it comes to freely sharing, even when I really don't have much to share. In spite of this "bad habit", God has managed to bless my life even when I have had next to nothing to show for it. To me, I think it much better to have a little and be willing to give it all away than to have much and refuse to share any of it.
It seems much of my life has been spent trying to extract pennies from people and churches whose coffers are filled to overflowing. In spite of this, I have been blessed in the process with getting to know, love and give to some of the most beautiful people on this planet. These people have nothing to show for all their hard work except a roof over their heads and a little food in their stomach. They have nothing of any value to call their own, but to me they are richest people alive.
I honestly pity the fools who think they must drink of this world's wealth to be happy. I really do feel sorry for those who cannot know happiness unless they can purchase it with money. The sad reality is that the greatest things in this life cannot be bought at any price by even the world's most wealthy people. Love, joy, peace and a whole host of other intangibles are not for sale.
What is the worth of one man's soul? Can it honestly be measured in dollars or cents? How much did it cost for God to save even one? Was not the price the life of His Son?
What if God had decided to be as many of His children are now? What if God had said, the price is too high and the death of His Son not allowed?
If God behaved as His children do, none of us would be saved. For if God were as selfish as His own children are, He would have never so loved that He gave.
I pray that as we have freely received, we freely give. I pray that we willingly share what God has abundantly blessed us with and that we never count what God has blessed us with as our own. Always remember that the reason you are blessed is mainly so you can bless others.