Abundant Living Vol. XI, Issue 40

“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 

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” Ebenezer Scrooge tried to remind the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley in Dickens’ timeless story A Christmas Carol.  “Business!” cried the ghost in response.  “Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of today’s world’s richest men, issued a challenge to their fellow billionaires sometime back to join them in giving away a significant portion of their wealth.  Whether they had been inspired by Dickens’ tale, Christ’s words, or simply their own good consciences we don’t know.  Regardless of their motives, though, it is encouraging what these men did making a public statement about their wealth that essentially says it is not theirs to keep, but to give away – and to give away for the greater good of mankind.  At an even deeper level their message is all but an admission that their wealth had never been theirs to begin with; rather it is a gift, and their extreme philanthropy is a way of publicly admitting that. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded . . .” is not a message intended for only the mega-wealthy, however.  It applies to all of us; for we have all been blessed in some way with more than enough.  And just as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett seemed to have recognized, it is not for us to keep but to give away.  Some have been blessed with financial wealth, some have physical strength and energy, others have knowledge and wisdom, and all of us at the very least have the ability to offer a smile or an encouraging word.  Whatever our gifts, talents, or resources might be, they have been entrusted to us not just for ourselves but for the greater good.  Mankind is our business.  The common welfare is our business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence are all our business.  For, “. . . from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

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