The Bible says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven. What does this mean? Does it mean that being rich is bad? I don’t think so. I think that God loves us all so much that He wants each and everyone of us to be as spiritually and financially wealthy as we can possibly be. However, if we have too much money in our bank accounts, maybe that’s a sign that we aren’t giving enough to those in need. I think a person can keep a certain percentage of their money and still be spiritually wealthy. I don’t think God demands that we all be living in poverty.
A lot of life is consequences. We have to deal with the negative consequences of our actions all the time, but I think we also deserve the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of our actions. If a person has a billion dollars and they give a million dollars to charity, they might think they are doing enough. But I don’t think so. If we are in tune with God, then we should be miserable at the thought of others suffering. If we are fortunate enough to have a billion dollars, then we should take advantage of the opportunity we have to help others. We should retain enough for ourselves so that we can live a good life, be able to provide for our families, and ensure that we never have to depend upon another human being for financial resources. We should live in comfort, enough comfort that allows us to be so happy that we feel able to live the higher demands of life. The happier we are, the more we should want to give back. Having a lot of money gives us freedom. Lovers of freedom should be so grateful that we want to share it with as many as possible.
There needs to be a balance between spiritual and financial wealth. If others are barely able to make ends meet, they are not going to be able to focus on the more abstract things in life like spirituality and philosophy.
Tithing is giving 10% of what we have to those in need. If we have a million dollars, we should give one hundred thousand dollars to our Church or to a worthy charity. But imagine if everyone who made a million dollars a year lived on 100,000 dollars a year and gave 900,000 away (let’s assume they are clearing one million after taxes). Imagine the blessings that would come to someone who behaved in such a fashion. Imagine the blessings that would accrue to those who were the fortunate recipients of such charity. The world would be a better place, for sure. We might even be able to solve many of the world’s problems! After all, after a person has a nice house, nice car, enough for clothes, travel and food, and a certain amount of freedom, what else do they really need?
Some people might say that this is socialism, this giving of most of their money to others. However, I’m an avowed capitalist. I do not believe in socialism. The difference between socialism and capitalism is one of freedom. I want to be free to volunteer to give money to others less fortunate, not because I have to (not that I’m in a position yet to do so, but hopefully someday!) I don’t want to be forced to. It goes back to the war between the devil and God. I don’t want to be forced to do good. I want to do good because I want to show God that I am grateful for all that I have.
But we should remember that not only can we tithe our money. We can also tithe our time, or any other gift with which we have been blessed. If we are good at cooking (I wish!), then we could donate food to a local shelter. If we are good at singing, we could sing for a local choir. There are many ways to tithe. But there seems to be only one way for a rich person to enter into heaven. And that is to balance spiritual and temporal wealth in a way that shows our gratitude for everything that we have.