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Blessed Beyond Our Merit

Blessed Beyond Our Merit

            We have a tendency to think the rest of the world is like our own little part of it. A common misconception is that much of the rest of the world is white, middle class, educated, lives in a three bedroom house, drives two cars, eats three meals a day and watches television every night before going to bed. What is the world really like? If we could shrink down the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:

            There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 North and South Americans, and 8 Africans. 51 people would be female; 49 would be male. 70 would be non-white; 30 white. 70 would be non-Christian; 30 would be Christian (professing Christianity, not members of the Lord’s church). Half of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people, and all 6 would be citizens of the United States. 80 would live in substandard housing. 70 would be unable to read. 50 would suffer from malnutrition. 1 would be near death, 1 would be newly born. Only 1 would have a college education.

            Not what you expected? We live in a nation that is blessed by comparison to the rest of the world. Permit me to make a few observations from this fact.

            1) As a nation, we take this state of affairs for granted and squander our blessings. We spend our time whining because we think we don’t have enough; after all, CNN tells us we are suffering.

            2) Wealthy Christians rationalize that that what they have is their own, rather than realizing that it is given them in stewardship from God, and they go to great lengths to ensure that it remains in their possession for a long time to come.

            3) Poorer Christians, instead of realizing that even in poverty they are blessed more than 99 percent of the rest of the world, spend their time moaning about what they do not have and murmuring against the wealthy for not giving them a share.

            4) We are blessed beyond our merit. Blessings are designed to move us to be grateful and happy rather than angry and unthankful, to move us to thank God for the abundance rather than pray for more blessings, and to move us to be content with what we have and willing to share it rather than being grasping and greedy toward the have-nots or jealously carping against the haves.

            It appears that as a nation and as individual Christians, being abundantly blessed has made us materialistic instead of spiritually minded. It is time, both as a nation and as individual Christians, to stop whimpering about what we want and start thanking God for what we have. (Compiled by Paul R. Blake from multiple sources)

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