"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
Andy Warhol's painting of Marilyn Monroe is expected to sell at auction for an estimate of $200 million. A 1962 Ferrari GTO that was originally sold for $18,000 sold at auction in 2021 for $48.4 million and the Pink Star diamond, considered to be one of the world's rarest, was sold in 2021 in Hong Kong for $71 million.
Those figures are unbelievable to those of us who just hope to have enough money to eventually retire. Imagine having enough money to spend that much on just one item! I know there are collector's that are willing to spend vast amounts to add to their rare possessions but I keep thinking about what could be done and who could be helped with the dollars they are throwing toward something that will eventually be destroyed.
Years ago, Beanie Babies were all the rage. I remember one shop owner told me that it was adults who were purchasing them and saving them hoping that they would increase in value enough for them to be able to sell them in the future and make a hefty profit. Perhaps some made a bit of money off of them but today I find them in resell and thrift shops for very little. Obviously, at least most of them did not produce the returns that folks were hoping for.
We live in a world of "more." So many are unsatisfied with what they have and seek to increase their wealth. As the bank accounts grow, so does the desire for more clothes, better cars and bigger homes that then demand new furniture, nicer landscaping and more opulent decor. But, while we work to grow our personal kingdoms, there are people in this world who are going without.
According to World Vision, 8.9% of the world's population goes to bed with empty stomachs. If that doesn't sound like a lot, let me put it in numbers. 690 million people have nothing to eat. If this trend continues it is estimated that by 2030 that number will be around 840 million. In addition, more than 884 million people do not have safe water to drink, and countless more have no access to modern medicines to fight disease.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
As Christians, we need to be aware that God may be gifting us in order for us to share with others. Our first priority should be to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. If someone is hungry, they need food. If someone is thirsty, they need water. There are widows and orphans and we have been commanded to look after them.
We cannot expect those who do not know Jesus to act in a Christian manner. But we can be vigilant in our own lives about sharing what we have and being "rich in good deeds." We do not need expensive paintings, antique cars or brilliant jewels more than others need to experience the love and caring of the Lord. Our calling is to love with His love and to share the Gospel that others might be saved. God bless!