Eugene Cho

an attitude of gratitude on thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  For this post, I want to encourage you with two simple thoughts: You are Blessed and Remember the Vulnerable.   One must choose to have this attitude of gratitude because it is our human nature to complain and be envious of others.  The last few months – locally and globally – have certainly been like a bad roller coaster ride that leaves one disoriented and vomitaceous. And unless you’re completely detached from the money machine, you’re likely impacted on some personal level and feeling pretty anxious.  

So: What are you thankful for?

For me, I’m thankful for the meaningful things in my life:  the presence, truth and grace of the Triune God, my family, my wife and three children, my church community, friends, the opportunities I have, and thankful for the gift of choice that enables much privilege in my life.  I pray that I can be a good steward of such gifts in my life.

Here are the two thoughts of encouragement:

You are Blessed. Say that to yourself again and again and again. Because we truly are. If you have a roof over your head, enjoyed three meals today, and will sleep in your own bed tonight, you are blessed. Because so many of us are conditioned in this Upward Mobility Mindset where we want more and covet more, we compare our wealth to those who are wealthier which then will subsequently, make you feel poor.

But, here is the simple truth and reality: YOU ARE BLESSED. Especially during this economic downturn, please remember this. If you visit http://globalrichlist.com, you’ll get a sense how “rich” you are in comparison to the larger world.

My annual income as a pastor is $66,000. I don’t consider it to be a large salary. I have, at times, compared my salary to other pastors with larger salaries and coveted more. But when I submit my annual salary on globalrichlist.com, it indicates that I am the 52,816,732 richest person in the world! That puts me in the TOP .88 riches % in the world. Wow. Click on this image to learn how rich you are!

So before you start complaining, whining, and coveting, please count your blessings.

Remember the Vulnerable. In this real economic crisis, the ones that are most vulnerable are the poorest of the poor – both locally and globally. The global food crisis was having a dramatic impact on the world’s poor even before the current onset of global recession.

Consider these stunning REAL numbers that impact REAL people:

  • 1 child dying every 3 seconds
  • 18 children dying every minute
  • A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring every week
  • An Iraq-scale death toll every 15–36 days
  • Almost 10 million children dying every year
  • Some 60 million children dying between 2000 and 2006

While we all freak out about the global financial crisis, let’s consider that about 2.7 billion people live on less than $2/day; 1 billion people live on less than $1/day and 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water.

During an economic recession, people will likely and wisely hunker down and seek to reduce spending in their lives. In my opinion, seeking to reduce our consumerism and learning to live more simpler is a great plus that we can learn during this recession. But, in that pursuit, I want to encourage you NOT to reduce your generosity and giving to the poor. Honor your giving, generosity, compassion, and commitments to various organizations. In fact, I would encourage you to consider GIVING MORE in light of what we all know – giving to the poor and impoverish will be dramatically impacted during this global recession.

Consider the global priorities in spending in 1998. These statistics will tell you that our priorities are skewed.

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

If you’re interested in partnering with us in our global poverty initiative, feel free to donate by clicking the link below.  You can view the initiative video and FAQ.

Filed under: family, religion,

5 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    Like you, I’m thankful for my spouse and children and the opportunity to have so much freedom and safety. I’m heartbroken over what has gone on in India.

  2. d says:

    my Facebook status: “Dennis is thankful for mom and dad, who kicked my juvenile-immature-headed-for-jail-punk-ass into a person of faith and integrity. i love you omma and appa.”

  3. […] you know Eugene Cho is one of the wealthiest humans in the world? Amazing. That blog post was just another reminder that I live the good life and I need to be […]

  4. […] Fri 28 Nov 2008 · No Comments Go to the global rich list to find out: Global Rich List. (You will just enter your annual income in a box and it will show you a graphic like this, and where you fit.) (HT: Pastor Eugene Cho – An attitude of gratitude) […]

  5. Bret says:

    I am thankful that God provided enough volunteers and food to feed 150 meals to the needy onThanksgiving.

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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