I must be the luckiest person on Earth. Nearly every week I get an e-mail saying that I’ve been selected to have millions of dollars wired to my bank account from foreigners for one reason or another. All I have to do is send a whole bunch of personal information. One of these days, I’m going to take advantage and strike it big.
The bible has a different way of measuring wealth. Speaking about a community of people who loved their fellow sojourners in a neighboring city, the apostle Paul wrote “their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity.” Poverty became wealth when it met generosity.
True prosperity is the ability to give. The person who is poor indeed is he or she who cannot help others. And the degree of charity isn’t measured by the size of the gift, but by the heart of the giver. Jesus himself underscored this when he praised an impoverished widow who put only two small coins into the temple treasury.
Of course there are practical ramifications as well of preserving the ability to give. It means that the one giving is living within his or her means – a trait seen less and less today.
Maybe the potential financial windfalls that come in my e-mail are legit. I don’t have the nerve, or am not gullible enough, to find out. So I’ll just do what I can. I guess that makes me rich.