According to Oxfam Finds 1% of the world population will have accumulated more than half of the world’s wealth in years to come. This deepening global inequality is increasing and unlike anything seen in recent years.
Jesus once told a rich man that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. That’s a strong statement! Does that mean that God is partial to the poor and less accepting of rich people? I don’t think so. I believe the point He wants to get across is that we are creating a lonely society via self-sufficiency. Our desire to be independent and run a one-man-show gets all of us into trouble. Realizing we’re incomplete without God, a rich person may have a harder time recognizing this crucial piece of wisdom.
The rich young man Jesus encountered had one question weighing on him. Specifically, he asked Jesus what needed to be done to secure his place in the Kingdom of God. Jesus kept it general in His initial answer when He pointed out that we receive eternal life by keeping God’s commandments. Interestingly, the rich young man was dissatisfied with Jesus’ answer as he kept digging. “What else must I do?” he asked. Jesus’s reply to his follow-up question quickly ended the conversation (Matthew 19:21):
“Jesus told him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”
Matthew’s gospel records describe how the young man went away depressed knowing that he would not want to separate from his many possessions.
We don’t need to be rich to share in a rich man’s worldview. The question Jesus is asking is whether or not we are willing to share. If we use money just to make more money we are in the same boat with the rich young man. Driven by self-serving ambitions, our life’s direction will take us further and further away from God. Similar to the rich man who walked away from Jesus, we will be walking away from God depressed and sad. It’s no secret that riches and fame won’t make us happy.
If every person on this planet had the sharing mindset Jesus is talking about the world wouldn’t suffer with rising global inequality. Let’s not hold on too tight to what we’ve got. Dare to share! It makes a world of a difference.
“A man of riches may claim a crown of jewels; but the king of heaven can be told from the prince of fools.” (Song lyrics by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)