Great news! I just discovered that I am the 39,615,049th richest person in the world. I finally surpassed the 39,615,450th person with that extra money I earned last month. That might not sound so good to you but it means that I am in the top 0.66% of people in the entire world. In case you struggle with decimals and percentages like I do, it means that I am wealthier than 99.34% of the humans on the planet. Picture it this way. If I were one of only one hundred people in the world, Bill Gates would still be the wealthiest, I would be second, and everyone else would be lusting after my stuff.
I must admit, it is hard to be humble now that I am a member of the elite. I’ll try, but I can’t promise that I won’t become a little bit snobby about being a part of the upper crust of society. I will fight the temptation to view others as less fortunate simply because they are lower on the list.
What should I do now that I have arrived, so to speak? First, I need to get out of this “middle class” neighborhood I am living in. Obviously, I am far from “middle class,” I’m in the top one percent. Look out north Dallas, here I come. Maybe I can find a place next to Tom Hicks or Mark Cuban and we can hang out and talk sports.
I also need to upgrade my transportation. A van with 80,000 miles of wear is not appropriate for a man of my position in the world. I’m thinking about one of those big fancy Hummers that hog up so much of the road. I would look good behind the wheel of one of those monsters.
A new wardrobe is a must. No more trips to J.C. Penny for me. That reminds me, I won’t need to return to a Wal-Mart ever again. From now on, I will only be shopping at the really expensive places, the kind where you get your own individual assistant to help make choices. Perhaps I could even hire a shopper so I won’t have to go to the store at all. Life is good!
In reality, being in the top one percent of the world’s wealthiest people means that I am still the middle class guy I have always been. So much for the mansion and extravagant lifestyle. Easy come, easy go.
What it does mean is that I probably need to reflect on my attitude. I confess there are times when I wish for more stuff. I have had more than a few aspirations for some of the perks of the really wealthy. In comparison to the whole world, I am already wealthy. Instead of hoping to be on the receiving end, I should be on the giving end. Since I already possess more than 99% of the world, I have a tremendous responsibility to many others.
There are numerous warnings in Scripture directed to the wealthy.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)
I had always assumed that these verses did not apply to me. Obviously, they were written for the people who show up on the Forbes list. The truth is that when I look for the rich who are described in the Bible, I will find folks just like me and probably you.
Instead of working my way up the list, it would probably be better to try and move down the list by giving more of my stuff to others.