During the sermon this past Sunday, my pastor spoke a bit about wealth and the perception people have about what they need that would make them happy.
(I don't have the references for these statistics, but I know I can get them if needed)
It's likely that you aren't happy with your current pay or salary.
The studies have shown that those who make $50,000 feel that they would be better off by just making $100,000. But those who make $100,000 look at those who make $200,00 and so on and so forth.
Most of us on steemit I'd guess (there are those who make far more and far less, but on average) make $37,000 dollars or more. And compared with statistics all over the world that would place you in the top 3% for the worlds wealth.
Even our poverty level of $16,000 places you in the top 10% of the worlds wealth. Life may not be easy for you at this level, but most of us have basic necessities covered and have more than one pair of clothes and likely a cell phone and some other luxuries that other people can only dream of.
The area of New York I am from has an average family income of $73,647 which by the definition of rich is having needs met and having extra, is 2.5x rich or possibly even more.
But even with our wealth, we complain about things that really don't affect our lives too much. First world problems like:
- Poor cell phone coverage
- Where to go on vacation
- Internet that is too slow
- Amazon taking more than 3 days to deliver
1 Chronicles 29:6-9English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Then the leaders of fathers' houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king's work. 7 They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics[a] of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8 And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
What gets people to notice and listen to what you are doing and saying is generosity and not theology.
While people may not have any interest in being a Christian, if generosity and servant-hood is lived out, people will likely be grateful you are in their neighborhood, even if they don't believe as you do.
Far too many Christians focus on trying to "convert" something through a theological argument, but action speak louder than words. Being a friend who is reliable and sacrifices time to be there for someone in need should give you the opportunity to share your beliefs. Not try to force someone to change theirs. Personal beliefs are something each person decides for themselves, and a lot of people who claim to be Christians do a very poor job of showing love to others and instead pass judgement and shun those with other beliefs.
At the most basic, loving God and loving people should guide your decisions in every other aspect of your life (if you are a Christian) Putting others before yourself is not a common thing. Most of our culture is about what can "I" get for myself instead of what can I do for "others." Selflessness and not selfishness is something I value very much in the friends I get close to.
This is also evident in charitable giving among different income levels. Those who make around $50,000 tend to give around 5-8% to charity. Those who make $200,000 or more tend to give 1%. While those with $200,000 are giving more money, they are sacrificing less for others. This isn't to say it is right or wrong, and everyone is free to give as they wish or not at all. But some of the most charitable people I have met have shared their only small meals with me, when that may be all they have to eat and are willing to share what little they have out of their giving kind spirit.
It's worth thinking about how you spend your money. You may not agree with my beliefs at all, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear from you in the comments. However, I'd like to be known for my generosity and serving spirit and not for accumulating cool items for myself.