Being transformed and being a part of a transformational community requires a commitment to spiritual discipline and to being stewards of the unique calling God has placed on each of our lives. Loving God and loving others with all our heart, soul and strength means that every area of our lives must be seen belonging to Christ and His Kingdom.
Being placed within a Kingdom community of equality, diversity, and harmony is an immense blessing. Accordingly, we are to exhibit a spiritually disciplined submission and commitment to that community. Only within such a transformational body can we fully embrace the implications of Ephesians 2:10 and help one another see how God has prepared us for good works and seek out the works God has prepared for us to do.
Each of us, both individually and collectively, in community have been prepared with social resources such as education and personal connections of which we are to be faithful stewards. To hoard our social wealth from the under-resourced is just as much of an affront to God as hording our financial wealth. We must desire to foster the spiritual discipline of simplicity so that we can free our lives, talents, networks, resources, etc. for the sake of others.
For example, while the poor in this country (financially, socially, and spiritually poor) will take money and donations, that’s not what they truly need. What the underprivileged need is mentoring and job opportunities, daycare and rides to work, someone to talk to about their troubles, and to generally be in close, consistent relationships with people who can build into one-another in such a way that offers hope of a future.
American Christians have been particularly blessed with peace and prosperity far beyond anything history has ever seen. We have access to financial wealth and privilege that puts each of us in the top 5% of the wealthiest people in the world. We know we are to honor the spiritual discipline of stewardship and give not just a mere tithe of our earthly wealth but everything we have back to God.
By the power of the Holy Spirit we have been given everything we need to accomplish greater things than we can even imagine. The spiritual discipline of service calls us beyond compassionate acts of charity to a life of creative sacrificial service to others – to love as Jesus loved.
Truly, we are wealthy in every area of life – given the prosperity, the knowledge, the peace, and all the means to live lives of love and justice. We mustn’t for a moment think we have earned or deserve anything we have. Instead we must be willing to give it all back to the One who has blessed us so immensely. Seeing our lives as the story of change God desires to share with others.
Read and reflect on what the Bible says about wealth here.