Friday, August 28, 2009

The Wealth of Christians

As Christians, we are called to help the poor.  Now, in the time of Jesus, many people were poor and destitute due to either a handicap or being widowed.  There was no welfare system during the time of the Romans and so everyone who could work, would do so in order to eat.  While I am sure there were lazy people, for the most part the downtrodden were really down on their luck, so to speak.
These are the kind of people Jesus called us to help.  Not those who can help themselves, but those who cannot.  There, of course, many different ways of helping and in this day and age, I do not recommend giving money to anyone.  If someone wants money for food, give them food.  More than likely, you will find that they had food, they were just lazy.
But you cannot help someone if you yourself are having financial issues.  If you cannot keep your own household together, then you will grow to despise the giving that goes on.  I know that people think it is great to give until it hurts, but if it hurts often enough, then you will hate it.  Pain is never something one looks forward to, unless one is absolutely deranged.
So you need to get your own household in order first and foremost.  This means that you have to take control of your finances by budgeting before the next month begins and agreeing upon with your spouse (if you are married).  If you both can agree on a budget and stick with it, then you will have more harmony in your marriage than you know.  But it also means that you will be able to give without feeling like your giving and it hurts.
Another thing Christians need to do in the West is to get out of debt and to never go into debt ever again.  How much more could you give if you have no $400 car payment, no credit card payment, and no student loan payment?  How about if you got rid of your mortgage payment?  How much could you give and help others if you had no debt?
It is weird, I know, but while God permitted debt to exist within his own sacred nation, he always put severe restrictions on it.  You had to completely forgive all debts owned to you within a certain timeframe and you were suppose to charge zero interest on debt given to the poor and downtrodden.  That is something that is very different from what the banks do today.  In doing so, God probably set it up so that the Israelites had very little debt in their lives because very few people would be willing to loan money.  As Christians, we should be ever mindful that with very few exceptions, we should have the discipline to completely avoid debt so that we are much more free to serve God.  You may be waiting on God’s Will because He knows that you will fail because of all the debt you have.
Another thing is that we should always strive to make substantial wealth.  If Christians were the richest group of people in the world, how much better would the Word spread throughout the world?  Our enemies have substantial wealth themselves.  The secular humanists have a lot of funding from shady deals and decadent entertainment, although many of them also make plenty of money legitimately.  But they put their own wealth toward fighting us and we need to beat them.  One of the best ways to do that is to make more money than they do and put that money toward our own agendas.
Now, not all Christians will be wealthy and many of us will be given different paths in life.  That does not mean that it applies to you.  The rich are not the enemy of the Christians because the rich are like the poor: some are good and some are bad.  If more Christians were millionaires, then we would see a much different world.