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.