opulence, philanthropy, and giving

Image from Forbes.com

In the photo above you have a gathering of $126 billion dollars. It is probably the single richest gather in modern history. These men and women have given money and time to make the world a better place. These peoples lives are marked by giving rather than receiving.

It is indeed honorable what these billionaires have done with their pocket books. You truly see what one values by the way they spend their money and time. These billionaires have set a high standard for those of us who have less to consider.

As I pursued Forbes 400 Summit articles a few questions teetered in mind: Is he who give the most always the most honored? What about the little old lady who lives below the poverty line that gives kisses and cookies to cheer children? Is giving money the most helpful solution to the worlds issues? What does money buy? What is the definition of “better” in making the world a better place?

When I consider the most opulent Giver of all time, he was not rich with monetary wealth, he did not own a large corporate empire, he was not well liked even by religious persons. Rather, he lived a frugal life, the son of two teenage parents. His hands were calloused from carpentry. He did draw crowds and heal many sick. He did make outrageous claims, like, being God and the universe was his inheritance. He was considered a criminal and blasphemer. Ultimately he sacrificed his life, ending it in public humiliation, giving it up for the sake of the name and glory of His Father’s.

His name: Jesus. Without his divinely foreordained gift to humanity, no one in the world would have enough brains, bucks or brawn to conger up a better solution to the problems created by sin. His gift of forgiveness and reconciliation is free for all who believe. It won’t cost you 99% of your accumulated wealth, but it might just cost you to die to yourself.

I am not sure I’d ever see Jesus picture or name mentioned in Forbes, but I will surely hear and see Him worshiped throughout eternity.

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