What does it mean to be truly rich?
Following on from our discussions about the number 40 and how it appears in scripture, we took a look at some numbers relating to wealth around the world, and asked what it means to be truly rich.
How Rich Am I?
First, we looked at some recent statistics about who owns and earns the wealth in the world. We’ve all probably heard in the news of “the 1%” – by 2016, the richest 1% are expected to own more than half of the world’s wealth. But according to recent research by Giving What We Can, you may be surprised how rich you, or the people around you, really are.
For example, an income of $40,000 a year (about £27,000), puts you in the top 2% of eaners worldwide.
Earning $25,000 a year (about £17,000) means that you’re in the top 3%. And even an income of $15,000 (£10,000) still puts you in the top 8% of the world.
You can try out their income calculator and find out just how rich you are.
Every 4 Seconds
Right at the other end of the scale of wealth – every 4 seconds of every minute, of every hour, of every day, someone dies of hunger or hunger-related causes.
Living Below The Line
From 27th April to 1st May, people around the UK and the world will be taking part in the Live Below The Line challenge, to deepen understanding and raise vital funds for the 1.2 billion people who live below the extreme poverty line.
Some of us at The Bridge have already signed up – you can raise money for your nominated charity, and just as importantly, raise awareness of this huge issue. We’ll bring you more details as we approach the date, or find out more at the Live Below The Line website.
How Blessed Are We?
Is it possible that God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others?
Rob Bell’s popular Nooma series of short videos are an often-challenging, always thoughtful way to reflect on life and faith. This week we viewed “Rich”.
Rob Bell invites us to examine a society where we ask that “God Bless America” – but hasn’t America (and the rest of the Western world) already been blessed? He argues that it’s easy to fall into a trap of viewing “our” world as “the” world, because it’s all we usually see. We also compare our financial circumstances to those who have more. And, so, we rarely consider ourselves wealthy, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
Maybe what we have is enough. Maybe it’s more than enough.
Maybe we have been blessed by God with everything we have, so that we can bless and give to others.
Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17–19 (The Message)
What can you give?
Who are you going to bless?