Saturday, November 2, 2013

How rich are you?

Many of you reading this blog post live in what we label the "first world". We come from affluent societies, live in homes with stoves, refrigerators, heating and air conditioning. We have places to house or park our cars (usually more than one). We have a separate bedroom for the kids, and running hot water. And we have computers, tablets, and/or smart phones on which to view this blog post.

One of the biggest issues with us first world dwellers is a serious lack of contentment and lack of perspective on how much we truly have. I had a cousin on facebook recently say something about "if all your hand-earned money goes to putting a roof over your head and food in your fridge, that is slavery".

That comment really made me pause and think. Do we know just how many people in the world wished they had a proper roof over their heads, a refrigerator to store food, and enough food to fill said refrigerator? It reminded me of when I lived in Brazil and would see their favela slums. These people lived in ramshackle homes that climbed up seemingly-uninhabitable hillsides. If they had electricity, it was stolen from local wires. And for such a wet climate, it always made me so sad to see that they rarely had proper windows, just holes in the walls.
And this is nothing compared to slums in Southeast Asia, where children regularly run around barefoot in feces and sleep under non-waterproof fabric if they are lucky.

When did we lose the ability to have perspective? We look around at our fancy neighbors and want what they have, not realizing how very rich we already are. When did we become so covetous? When did we begin to think we, whose poorest are still among some of the wealthiest in the world, deserve more? When did we stop praising God for how very much we have?

Don't get me wrong, it is draining to live paycheck to paycheck, worrying about how we will pay for life next week. It is draining to watch all of your hard-earned money only go to food and shelter, with nothing on the side for enjoyment. I get it. I've been there. But that doesn't change that we are still wealthy in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't change that God provides for his childrens' NEEDS, but not always their WANTS.

This is something I still struggle with. My 2 bedroom 2 bathroom home has very few closets. I struggle to think about where we will fit a baby (and all said baby's stuff) in 7 months. But how very spoiled am I that I have TOO MUCH STUFF?!

Here is a website I really want to encourage you to take 2 minutes to visit. It is called the Global Rich List, and it will tell you what percentage your fall in based on your income. Just a heads up, someone bringing in only $20,000 per year is in the top 4% of the world. It is very eye-opening to see where you fall, and reminds me, for sure, to stop complaining about things I don't have and remember those who have so very much less than I do.

And here is one final eye-opener, which reminds me daily not only how fortunate I am, but my obligation as a Christian to help those who aren't as fortunate as me:

Suddenly only being able to afford a roof over your head and food for your fridge doesn't sound so bad.


  1. Absolutely! Is it not Paul that speaks of contentment in great wealth or poverty? Whether he has plenty to eat or is hungry? The verse is quoted often, but I've found it applied to contentment in the face of denial of greater wealth. I frequently say that having my wants is by far secondary to my needs.

    We've been asked dozens of times about buying a house now that we're expecting a child. Despite living in a two bedroom townhome in a great neighborhood, we apparently need more space in the viewpoint of ...just about everyone. (haha!). Granted, the space is somewhat tight and each room is serves more than one purpose, but there is sufficient room for the three of us. I see no reason why we cannot make the most of this home that God has provided means for us to live in currently. It may mean we don't have near as much stuff as our peers, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    In regard to the baby, a baby doesn't need near as much stuff as some suggest. We've chosen a minimalist approach to baby gear. As I've said, my needs (this child, our family) are by far of greater importance and value than my wants (more space, nicer things etc). With this perspective, you'll find space for your baby and his/her things in your home as well.

    How are you and the little one doing? :)

  2. I completely agree! We are also going for a minimalist approach with the baby, but even that might be difficult with giant families who want to buy stuff! I have a grand total of 3 closets to house pretty much everything, but I am really seeing it as an opportunity to get rid of more stuff, not get a place with more closets.

    Little one is doing great! At least if all my nausea is any indication. Thanks for asking. I am so thankful I don't work full-time because I don't know how I would make it through the day. As it is, I do as much as I can and my sweet husband has been helping me out with the rest:)


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!