giving it away…

Have a quick read of this article:

Basically – some of the richest people in the world have committed to give away at least half of their fortune.  That’s a massive amount of money that’s going to be given to make the world a better place.  Now, there are a few things we could say here – one might be that billionaires giving away some of their fortune isn’t much of a sacrifice when they’ll still have more than enough to survive on.  Others might say it’s nothing more than a big ego trip.  Maybe they’re right.

I’m preferring at this point to see this as a little bit of kingdom in action – believing that God works through the most incredible circumstances to bring hope to the poor.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t think any of these people are buying a home in heaven…quite the opposite…but they are at least doing something to improve this mess of a world that most of us like to moan about.

So, good job rich people.

Here are some quotes that echo more than a little of the Jesus message:

‘Warren Buffett, aka the Sage of Ohama, and the third richest person in the world: “Were we to use more than one percent of my claim checks (Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates) on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99 percent can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others”‘

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Melinda, his wife: ‘We have been blessed with good fortune beyond our wildest expectations, and we are profoundly grateful. But just as these gifts are great, so we feel a great responsibility to use them well’

Star Wars creator George Lucas – ‘I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education’

Former Citigroup chairman Sanford Weill and Joan, his wife: ‘We are firm believers that shrouds don’t have pockets’

Jeff Skoll, the Canadian-born engineer who was the first president of eBay, and his girlfriend Paige: ‘The world needs each of us doing all we can to ensure a brighter tomorrow for future generations’

Hope comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes…


2 thoughts on “giving it away…

  1. I do think that if everyone just started viewing giving to charity as just another fundamental part of life, rather than a big deal, or an act they should be admired and congratulated on, that this world might run a little better! I guess we should just all think about what we need and what we want, and stop getting the two all confused. Ooh look Mr Thompson, you’ve driven this batty chick to some serious thought. My brain will probably expire now.

    1. I know what you mean – there’s a huge challenge to all the naysayers (and looking at some of the comment this has generated, there are plenty of them!) to do something similar. One of the key figures in Christianity during the 18th century, John Wesley, decided that this was the way to live:
      In 1731, Wesley began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to the poor. He records that one year his income was 30 pounds and his living expenses 28 pounds, so he had 2 pounds to give away. The next year his income doubled, but he still managed to live on 28 pounds, so he had 32 pounds to give to the poor. In the third year, his income jumped to 90 pounds. Instead of letting his expenses rise with his income, he kept them to 28 pounds and gave away 62 pounds. In the fourth year, he received 120 pounds. As before, his expenses were 28 pounds, so his giving rose to 92 pounds.
      Wesley felt that the Christian should not merely tithe but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income,what should rise is not the Christian’s standard of living but the standard of giving.
      This practice, begun at Oxford, continued throughout his life. Even when his income rose into the thousands of pounds sterling, he lived simply and he quickly gave away his surplus money. One year his income was a little over 1400 pounds. He lived on 30 pounds and gave away nearly 1400 pounds. Because he had no family to care for, he had no need for savings. He was afraid of laying up treasures on earth, so the money went out in charity as quickly as it came in. He reports that he never had 100 pounds at any one time”.
      Provocative stuff for anyone, really…

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