I am the 319 576 092 richest person in the world!

That puts me in the top 5.2% of the world’s population according to the Global Rich List website.

Consider your answer to the following question: how many taps do you have in your house providing clean water -hot and cold?  Remember to include the washing machine if you have one and any outside taps for the garden.

If your answer is one or more, then you are among the richest seventh of the world’s population in economic terms.

1.3 Billion people live on less than one US dollar a day.  2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation, while 1.2  billion do not have adequate housing.

Over 20 ooo children die every day of diseases we could prevent.

US Christians spend $8 billion dollars on dieting – that is on curing over-consumption – and only $2 billion on mission.

Yet most of us have become morally numb to these facts.  Something is not right.  How you handle your money is important for your spiritual well-being.  “No one can serve two masters,” said Jesus.  “Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money, ” (Matthew 6:24)

Every time we spend money, we are making an ethical decision.  We are deciding not to spend it on helping the poor or furthering the gospel.

There is a sense in which instead of a thousand dilemmas about how we should use our money, we have to make one fundamental choice: do we live for God or for money?  It is because we waver about this decision that we replicate it day by day.

(taken from Porterbrook Training: Gospel Living module; Unit 9: Living Now: Possessions)

Ed Stetzer has a good post on Ways to Engage Global Poverty

Related: Good News to our City: Economic Inequality

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2 thoughts on “I am the 319 576 092 richest person in the world!

  1. Stephen

    Maybe a way forward is to start having discussions about using finances wisely at a very practical and very local level? Because whilst seeing the global picture helps us to see that things are out of sync and need to change it can also be overwhelming and debilitating for many.

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  2. John Post author

    It is sometimes helpful for us to feel the overwhelming size and extent of the global problem. Because many of us who are among the top 10% wealthiest people in the world -simply do not interact with this reality on a daily basis.

    You are mostly right that we must learn to use our finances wisely and in a godly manner at a local level in very “simple” and practical ways. This is a discussion that must happen in some very practical and contextual ways. I suspect the context needs to be one where we are given permission to ask out loud the questions we really do not want anyone to ask.

    Finally I do think we must consider as a secondary focus ways in which we can impact the global situation. Perhaps through consumer choices, giving money or time?

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