I recently became engaged to a very wealthy man who is a new Christian. After years of struggling to understand God better and fighting God because of trials in his life, my man knows a lot about the Bible, especially the part about the rich young ruler giving away all his wealth and following Christ. I didn’t fall in love with my man’s money, but I also don’t know if giving all his money way is the best thing for him to do. He has many employees who depend on him for their livelihoods, and if he gives it all away, who’s to say he won’t be giving it to the wrong people? I love the thought of spending a lifetime helping others in real need, but how does one know these days what’s real and what isn’t?
Wealthy and Confused
What wonderful news to hear of your fiance’s new life in Christ! And how intriguing to be asked such a question. First of all, I believe Christ’s answer to the rich young ruler was to show not only those listening, but everyone through the ages how devastating the love of money is in our lives. For your fiance to show his willingness to give away his wealth in obedience to the Bible is a great sign that he’s sold out to Christ. If he earned that wealth himself, he understands how to manage money. What he does with that money is not only between him and God now, but it also involves you, so sit down with him and talk this out, and take your time.
I’ve often thought that if I acquired a huge sum of money I would reinvest in a long-term plan of making that money grow so I could give more away as I receive it. I agree with you that giving money to the wrong people could be more harmful than keeping it. For instance, you hand out money to those who don’t know how to manage it and they spend it on something shiny and new instead of paying off their debts. I love the idea of finding a good, solid organization or two that I know handle their finances wisely to help widows and orphans. That is from the Bible. I also believe in investing in missions where people are truly being reached for Christ. If I had a lot of wealth, I would have to place myself on a budget and resist spending indiscriminately. However, your fiance has employees who depend on him. Giving away his wealth would be giving away their livelihood. If he wishes to give it all, he can keep on giving as he receives dividends, paychecks, interest. He can sell extraneous accompaniments to a luxurious lifestyle and live simply, drive a simple car, live like one of us, and manage the funds of his estate in a way that will support those in direst need around the world. I think the act of giving throughout one’s life can grow a person’s character more completely than one single act of giving away everything, but then Christ did tell that rich young ruler to give all away to the poor and follow Him.
I’d love to have our readers consider this. How would you give away a million dollars to help the neediest? What would you do with your wealth? Remember, despite the tanked economy, we’re all still considered wealthy in comparison to the rest of the world. How would you give?
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