Filthy Rich

We’re blessed to be some of the richest people in the world. But often times here’s what happens …

“Because we don’t usually have to depend on God for food, money to buy our next meal, or shelter, we don’t feel needy. In fact, we generally think of ourselves as fairly independent and capable. Even if we aren’t rich, we are “doing just fine.”

If 100 people represented the world’s population, 53% of those people would live on less than $2 a day. Do you realize that if you make $4000 a month, you automatically make one hundred times more than the average person on this planet?  Simply by purchasing a book, you spend what a majority of people in the world will make in a week’s time.”

Here’s the part that punched me in the throat…

“Which is more messed up — that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich? On any given day we might flippantly call ourselves “broke” or “poor”? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich.”

The above quote is from the book I’ve been reading called “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. Maybe it’s because I’m headed to Honduras in a week and a half, where human poverity is evident daily,  or maybe it’s just God working on me, BUT those words really stung when I read them.

Here’s what God has to say about this:

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:17-19

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Trey Morgan tagged this post with: , , , Read 1182 articles by
22 Comments Post a Comment
  1. M M in Amarillo says:

    I saw that book at Hastings and strangely it jumped out at me and I picked it up then put it down. I should have bought it. Seeing this post only shows me that more. I will be off to Hastings soon!!!

  2. Theophilus says:

    “Which is more messed up — that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich? On any given day we might flippantly call ourselves “broke” or “poor”? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich.”

    Maybe I am completely out of line here, or am missing part of the context, but when I read this, it made me really angry. This seems to be pulling stuff out of context in order to make people feel guilty – in a word, manipulative.

    Look at this: “Which is more messed up — that we have so much compared to everyone else…” As if it is messed up for one to be far richer than another. I see this sentiment all the time, & it is absolutely unbiblical.

    Job & Abraham had staggering amounts of riches. They were generous, but notice they didn’t give themselves into the poorhouse. Chan’s line of thought has more to do with Judas than with Jesus (John 12:5-8).

    Paul didn’t say it was wrong to “live in prosperity.” What the Bible teaches about money is 1. cling to God & not to things, 2. be content with what you have (rich or poor), & 3. use what you have wisely.

    “Which is more messed up… that we don’t think we’re rich?”

    “Rich” being a relative term, of course some of us aren’t going to consider ourselves “rich,” because in contrast to our immediate environment, we might actually be poor. Obviously, the poorest person in America is richer than most people in the world today, but who in America goes around claiming “I am poor, especially compared to the ‘dump people?'”

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Theophilus – hope your past being angry by now ;).

      Maybe it was the context we missed, but I caught the fact that (according to 1 Timothy that I mentioned) we are blessed, and we should share what we’ve been blessed with.

      Only a small percent of the world owns a car, and I actually own more than one. I should feel bad if I’m unwilling to share what I have.

  3. I am struggling financially right now but I know how rich I am. Yes it is in comparison to the real poor of the world but I still own more than I need. I don’t feel guilty of what I possess but am moved with compassion when I think about the suffering of those in many countries. It is God’s compassion in us that makes the difference in our response…not my checking account or what I own.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Jay – thanks for you your comment. Evern in our poorest state … With God we’re still very well off. Thanks for your attitude and spirit.

  4. Andre Nunes says:

    Good message Trey. I too have been reading Crazy Love for our Missional Community. Challenging book. In my personal life it has really challenged me to view how I look at things and what I value the most. We live in a culture that teaches us produce, consume and accumulate, very vicious cycle. a couple of weeks ago a speaker said that Jesus gave the parable that When a man was blessed more in his harvest, what did he do? He built a bigger barn, that same night he died, what was the use of the bigger barn? I too now find myself looking at what I value more. Like Theo mentioned on his comment Bible teaches us to Cling to God not to things. I like a the lyrics of a song from Mumford and sons, “where you invest your love, you invest your life”. Thanks for sharing what is in your heart.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Andre …

      First, I sure enjoy your blog, my brother. :) Second, love your thoughts here. I don’t want to be a “bigger-barn” guy. I want to learn godliness with contentment.

      Blessings

  5. Wow! What a fresh perspective on the riches we take for granted because of living in such a consumer driven society here in America. I have been to Belize, Hondurus and Guatemala and done short term mission work there that continues to put life into proper perspective for me. Thanks for your honest and authentic views. I will pick up the book you mentioned. My take on the heart of our problem is that we have become removed from the Culture of Honor Jesus modeled so well. Blessings…
    ron bateman- just a little boy with a great Dad

    • Trey Morgan says:

      “My take on the heart of our problem is that we have become removed from the Culture of Honor Jesus modeled so well.”

      Loved that line … very well said.

  6. I must disagree, Theophilus. Luke 12:33 indicates that Chan’s line of thinking comes from Jesus, not Judas. The only difference between that instruction and the one He gives to the rich young ruler (Luke 18:22) is the word “everything.”

    I feel angry too, often, when I feel I’m being manipulated. But I have to put that anger aside when it is the Spirit of Christ nudging me to be more like Him.

    • Theophilus says:

      Keith, I have no problem with saying we ought to be more appreciative for what we have, to be content with what we have, whatever we have, & give proper thanks to God. Nor do I have a problem with someone saying we ought to be generous towards others, especially towards the needy.

      My problem is primarily with this part: “Which is more messed up — that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich?”

      Now that, to me, implies that it is “messed up” for some people to be dramatically richer than others. I don’t know the author, I haven’t read the book. Perhaps I am reading too much into that, or perhaps the author misspoke, but that is how I understand it.

      And if that is what he is saying, that is unbiblical. The reason why it jumped out at me is because there are a lot of people in our country today, powerful, corrupt people who say similar things. They try to portray disparity of wealth as if it was some moral crisis, as if it is wrong, even unchristian for someone to be fabulously wealthy while others are poor.

      That smacks of envy & coveting, people stirring up strife & class warfare for their own purposes. That is bad enough, but when people try to bring the Bible in to justify it, that really gets on my nerves.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Keith … always enjoy you stopping by. Your application between Luke 12 and Luke 18 was one that I hadn’t thought of. Thanks for making me think.

  7. What gets me is how I keep hearing in the media that this generation isn’t better off than the last. I don’t know where they’re getting that. I might not make that much more than my parents did, and growing up I never felt particularly poor, but my kids definitely have it better than I did in many ways.

    Except, of course, I had the privilege of growing up on a small farm in Missouri and my kids are at the disadvantage of having to live in urban New Jersey.

    Once we start comparing our quality of life here in the West with the majority of the world it doesn’t take long to realize how good we have it. The fruit of generations of a stable political and legal system, relatively decentralized government and a sense of fairness shared by most.

    The truly poor throughout the world need both a hand up and a gospel-shaped challenge to the powers and authorities that keep them down.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Adam,

      We do have it good in the west. My children have so much more than I did … and I have so much more than my children did. Those things, in and among themselves, are not bad, but complaining about having nothing and being broke is.

      Loved your last sentence ….

      “The truly poor throughout the world need both a hand up and a gospel-shaped challenge to the powers and authorities that keep them down.”

      Well said.

  8. Ricco Suave' says:

    Mr. Fancy Pants Modern Day Hero,

    You are filthy rich. I know this because you always have enough $$ to bail me out :)

    I certainly don’t think we should ever be irresponsible, unwise or manipulated in our giving, but when God prompts us to give of ourselves or our resources, we can trust him, even when we don’t have all the answers.

    Just read a story out of Platt’s book “Radical” of a successful buisnessman name Jeff. This is his speech he gave at a conference……

    “My career has been a complete whirlwind in ways more successful than i ever anticipated it could be. I am paying more in taxes than i ever expected to make in a full year! I have been incredibly blessed. I was able to bring my wife home from work. Then we purchased our dream home in the exact neighborhood where we always wanted to live. I purchased the BMW; i bought the big beach house; and we went on great vacations. On top of all this , i was growing a buisness that i truly loved in an industry that i am passionate about. But somehow something was missing from my life, and i couldn’t figure out what it was. I have been a christian since i was seven years old, but through my pursuit of business and success, i somehow had replaced seeking the Lord with pursuing stuff and success.

    Then something happened last year that changed my life. I stoood in a city dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I saw men, women and children who were living in a dump where they scoured for food and shelter. Humbled by the reality of parents raising their kids in a dump, i reached my breaking point when i saw a woman eight months pregnant walk by me, looking for food. I couldn’t decide which was worse–the fact that the baby was conceived in a dump or that it was going to be born there. In the middle of this scene, God asked me, “What are you going to do with what i have given you? How are you going to use your influence, your leadership, and your resources in the world around you?”

    Trey, you and i have seen first hand the same thing that Jeff is talking about. One cannot go there and leave without taking stock of his/her life and how blessed we are to live in the USA. What Paul tells Timothy in ch 6, “to be generous and willing to share” holds true today.

    Have a safe trip home………Ricco

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Ricco … I’d always bail you out, my friend. I’ve been honored to stand and serve with you in the dump and to the poorest of the poor. Please continue to sharpen me, challenge me and strengthen me as a brother in Christ and friend.

      Occasionally buying my lunch would be okay too. :)

      You’ve piqued my interest on the book. I’d sure like to borrow it when you’re through reading.

  9. Linda Willis says:

    Trey,
    I loved “Crazy Love”, but you’ve got to read Radical! Have a great trip in Honduras! How Lea likes your tool belt!

    Linda Willis

  10. Sherry Hubright says:

    I just returned from 11 days in Honduras. Just when I thought I saw everything, God opened my eyes to so much more. My heart can not bear to see the kind of poverty I saw without having a heart that is moved to be used by Him to reach out & do what I can… even if it is just for one life because the truth is it really will matter to the one. I experienced it one night at Hospital Esquela. Trey, while you are in Honduras, ask Marc to take you all on a nighttime “blanket run” at the hospital. Like the dump, it was heart-changing for me.

    By the way, “Crazy Love” & “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan are both must- reads but I must agree with Linda– “Radical” by David Platt should be next on your list!

    Blessing to you, my brother! Please take care of Denson for me/us!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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