Disparity

Disparity among people is one of the most troubling things about our society. There are those that have so, so much and yet those who have almost nothing at all. When you look at wealth distribution, the top 1 percent of households in America own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. This is not to cast animus at anyone for being rich, but when you look at it through God’s eyes, I am sure He would not be very happy. When you see the poor going to bed thirsty and hungry; or families sleeping on the streets because of lack of resources, something is wrong with that picture.

We know what Christ said about the rich. In Mark 10:25 He answered His disciples question about the rich. “How hard is it for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God?” He replied: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Then the disciples wondered, “Who then can be saved?” Christ responded, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Near the end of this section about the rich entering the kingdom of God Christ made another curious statement: “But many who are first will be last and the last first.” What did He mean by that statement?

I guess it all comes down to where you store your treasures or more specifically what do you feel are the most significant goals in life? Obviously if you think everything ends when the body dies, then perhaps you would want to receive your rewards here on earth. However if your achievements come at the expense of others, then if what Christ said comes true prepare to be at the end of the line in the eternal kingdom. If you really think what Christ said about the kingdom of heaven is just a bunch of hogwash then eat, drink and be merry. Become the richest man in Babylon, or maybe in America because for you… death will lead you straight before the presence of your eternal Judge.

This does not mean that people should feel guilty for being rich. In fact worldly gains put them in a great position to become caretakers of those in need. This was evident in the story about Joseph in the book of Genesis. If your heart is that of a giver and you have great wealth, then you become an asset (earthly angel) to God’s people and His kingdom. Unfortunately once most people achieve great wealth it becomes a mindset to the degree that you have to do so much to maintain it. With more wealth you increase your spending habits. This forces you to increase your earnings to afford your spending. That means your focus become more about maintaining wealth rather than it does about caring for others. This is why Christ said it is nearly impossible for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. It becomes a vicious cycle.

You might not feel it is your responsibility to assist others, God’s people, and that is your right. However everything of value in this world belongs to God. He created all things in heaven and on the earth. So if your right to own more keeps others from having the very basics of life, such as food and shelter, then you are taking resources away from God’s people, and ultimately from God. It was God that made provisions for all people. Therefore for those that hoard it away from others, that act is offensive to God.

In the same chapter of Mark 10, verse 21 it spoke about a rich man who felt that he had always followed the Laws of Moses doing what was right since he was a child. Jesus looked at him and said. “One thing you lack, go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The rich man felt sad and went away because he had great wealth and did not want to part with it. Though he wanted to follow Christ it was not worth it to him to sell all his possessions. The point of this was to show us where our priorities lie. Is it more important to serve Christ and do the things that Christ felt more important or to hold on to your riches in order to afford a high quality of life? Fortunately for me I have never had that much wealth to have such a decision to make, but being honest I have to admit that if I did I would not be so eager to part with my stash. May God forgive me for that? I can sympathize with that rich man!

But for now let us not look at this purely as a sacred duty, but more as a fellow human being. We get so used to our lifestyles and the things we have that we seldom see what others don’t have. We are so comfortable walking in our shoes that we don’t even care to imagine that others might not even have shoes to walk in. If you have more than your daily needs then how hard would it be to give just a portion to others that you know are in great need? I don’t think Christ would want you to get rid of all you own and become another poor person, but I do feel that He wants you to give to the needy, to feed the hungry and to offer water to those who you know are thirsty. If you see a great need and do nothing about what you see… then you are not using the heart of God.

If you are among the fortunate ones then make it a point to help someone who doesn’t have the basics. I don’t personally know Bill and Melinda Gates but I read about the things they do to lift up those in need. I don’t want to call names but there are numerous wealthy people that give to causes intended to help the needy. It is one thing to give to a tax shelter, but another to give from your heart. If you have that much wealth why not go to a soup kitchen at least once a year and feed the poor and homeless. In that manner you can see that you are benefitting the needy. Your generosity would be coming directly from your heart into the hearts of the needy. God sees your heart and opens eye of the needle that much wider: Perhaps not wide enough for a camel to enter the gates of His kingdom, but certainly wide enough for one who serve the needs of others.

Doing “good” for others should come from the heart. It should not be something that one does as an obligation. God reads the heart and determines whether the soul is worthy of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember, we are to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will come through that gate. It you have great wealth and live like royalty on this earth I would be looking over my shoulders to see who are the people serving you. Make sure that you are at least taking care of those of whom God places in your eye view. There is enough wealth and resources in the world that no one should ever be in great need but it is not distributed equitably. That is where doing good for others can solve a multitude of the world’s problems. Selah!