1 Timothy 6:17-19 (New Living Translation)
17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
Oh how we long to be RICH!!! That word holds so much allure with us as a society. We all have our own perspective on how RICH you need to be to be RICH. Most Americans believe that if you earn over $122,000 you could be considered RICH, and if you hear politicians speak, RICH might be anyone's income over $250,000.
Just a couple of years ago the SEC considered "anyone with a net worth of at least $1 million, including the value of primary residences, or an annual income of $200,000 for the previous two years for individuals or $300,000 for couples" as RICH, it now says "investors need to have investible assets of at least $2.5 million, excluding equity in any homes or business, to be RICH enough to invest in hedge funds"(The Wall Street Journal).
Who is the RICHest person in the world? Bill Gates? Warren Buffett? According to Forbes.com, Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu is now the RICHest person in the world with $53.5 billion. In terms of a country's GDP, the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year, the residents of Leichtenstein are RICH with a GDP $118,000, while the residents of Zimbabwe produced $200 in the same year.
One little considered fact is that in the third world, if you have three square meals, access to a doctor and a roof over your head, you are considered RICH. And so, this is how the world sees it, dollars and cents, whether billions or pennies, RICH is a measure that confronts everybody.
We touched on Paul's perspective on how to be content yesterday. Here he continues, giving us instruction on how to deal with being RICH. I would say that being RICH should not be a material and monetary thing, because as long as we strive for the material and monetary, we lose focus on where true RICHes lie. True Next Worth living needs to be focused on the spiritual, investing our lives for the sake of others. God wants us to place whatever we have, whether material and monetary, or spiritual, in service to those hurting people around us.
I would say that we can be just as RICH if not RICHer than Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Carlo Slim Helu. Whether we live in Leichtenstein, the United States or Zimbabwe, once we discover investing what we have in God's way, we will be truly RICH.