Prosperity: Threading the Needle

[Title change courtesy of reader Ernie Zimmerman]

Jesus addressed every American living in 2014 when he said:

“To whom much is given, much is required.”

When even my nation’s poorest citizens still rank among the wealthiest people in the world, we have much required of us as a nation.

Writer Matt Ridley put it this way:

“Today, of Americans officially designated as ‘poor,’ 99 percent have electricity, running water, flush toilets, and a refrigerator; 95 percent have a television, 88 percent a telephone, 71 percent a car and 70 percent air conditioning. Cornelius Vanderbilt had none of these.”

I want to be a man who’s found faithful with my station at life. I want to use every gift over every second through every opportunity to exploit every possibility of blessing others. I want to be a proven steward of being an American, not because of America, but because of what’s required of me as a Christian living amongst so much “given.”

I want to do all things as if I were doing them for Christ himself. And do all things knowing the expectations placed on me—by virtue of the fact that I live in America—require me to rise to the greatness of my own blessing.

Any lesser living shames providence, provokes God and insults humanity. Death to the entitled self; resurrection to the selfless whole.

May frustrations ebb, complaints cease and comparisons die. I was born to be a child who leads like a king, not a king who acts like a child.

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  • Scott

    I will stand with you.
    Even as a Canadian.

    • Christopher Hopper

      This comment just made my day.

      Canadians are some of the most chill people I know, though. So I don’t picture you as having problems! We all can use some Canada in us.

      (And for what it’s worth, my wife and I know—and often spontaneously burst into—the Canadian National Anthem).

  • Ernie Zimmerman

    The article is right on Chris. I would have chosen different wording for the title though (dirty little secret). Great responsibility is actually an honor, not a curse. We didn’t choose when and where to be born or many of the factors that determine what resources we have available to us – and feeling guilty about it does not generally help. Regardless, thanks for writing this – it’s a message we need.

    • Christopher Hopper

      Thanks, Ernie. Struggled with the title; agreed. Poor choice. Perhaps a bit of sensationalism in it.

      Any suggestions?

    • Ernie Zimmerman

      Me and my big mouth … now you actually want me to do the work of thinking of a better title!!! I see your point about how ungratefulness responds. My comment was based in part on my observation of a tendency toward the “poverty mentality” in some quarters … i.e instead of joyfully accepting the responsibility we’ve been entrusted with, we avoid it and embrace poverty as if it were more holy. I was thinking something along the lines of “Prosperity – Threading the Needle”? (referring to Jesus’ “camel through the needle’s eye” statement).

      I wouldn’t necessarily say yours was a poor choice … if the reader actually takes the time to read the article, it has done its job. In my case, it worked – so maybe that constitutes success!

    • Christopher Hopper

      Ha ha – it’s the fine art of delegation at work. (Where would good pastors be without allowing their congregants to execute their own ideas?). ;)

      Ooo, now that’s a creative twist! I like.

      I couldn’t agree more about the poverty mantality. I think heaven is going to be a real shock for many people, essepcially those who think God spent too much on pavement. I also appreciate your tendency to want to lean toward the positive.

      Thanks for the dialog, Ernie. Hope all is well with you guys.

    • Ernie Zimmerman

      Thanks Chris! We’re doing well – here’s a sample from a DIY project we did this: http://www.reverbnation.com/kimzimmerman/song/19516738-hope-of-glory I’d be glad for your feedback if you have time. Peace!

    • Christopher Hopper

      Title changed. Thanks, Ernie.