“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48
“Who will give when they go? Remarkable generation of donors is tough act to follow,” so stated the front page headline in the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News. The article praised the generosity of a number of wealthy donors who in their lifetimes have given millions of dollars toward the betterment of our community. Some have already passed on, and those remaining are not getting any younger, which leaves the big question of who will be the next generation of philanthropists.
I found this to be a rather refreshing article given that we are in the midst of a faltering economy and an ever widening gap between the wealthy and the middle-class, with protests raging across the country against Wall Street and the culture of big banks. Having spent thirty years of my own life as a Wall Street professional I can testify that the greed factor that so many are railing against is not a myth. I’ve witnessed it myself, even got caught up in it for a while. But the problem is not that some make excessive amounts of money while others in our culture struggle to find jobs. The problem is the lack of compassion some of the high paid corporate types seem to have toward the less fortunate. In a nutshell it is greed. But not all rich people are greedy. Many are extraordinarily generous, taking seriously the biblical view that “from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded,” such as those praised by the Dallas Morning News. And that is what I found to be so refreshing about the article, a reminder that people of good will still exist at every socio-economic level.
Grateful as I am for the restoration of my health after a near fatal medical event two weeks ago, I too am faced with the same question as that newer generation who has amassed great fortunes. What am I to do with what I’ve been given; for “from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” I pray that I will somehow be as generous with my health as those good citizens from that “remarkable generation of donors” have been with their wealth.