DIFFERENT KINDS OF WEALTH.
Have you ever considered that “wealth” is more than just the money commodity? True to our sometimes shallow and materialistic preoccupation with money we have misunderstood what wealth looks like. Let’s talk about the idea of social capital.
Let’s say you’re in business and you need to get access to the Governor or the Senator for some key legislation and so you’re meeting a lobbyist. Consider the following:
The wealth you need in this scenario is the wealth of access. You need it more than money because let’s say you have the money. What you don’t have is a zoning approval for a project; what you don’t have is the necessary sign off on the legislation you need. In other words the wealth of access is what a lobbyist gets paid to do, to represent you, and have leverage.
Very similar to access, consider the wealth of influence. Suppose you have influence over Pharaoh like Joseph had but you don’t have the position of being king. Therefore, what does Joseph tell his family?
Genesis 45:8 “So now it was not you that sent me here, but God: and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt [AKJV].”
Did you catch that? God has made me a father to Pharaoh. I’d say this is pretty influential!
Joseph had the wealth of influence though he didn’t have the wealth of position.
Or – what about the wealth of ability. What if you are like basketball superstar Michael Jordon: God blessed you with a unique ability. (Thank God somebody came up with a game that puts a basket 13 feet in the air for you to throw something through because you’re designed perfectly to do it and have you paid big bucks to do it.) I don’t know what you’re going to do for a living with that kind of streamlined anatomy if there’s not a career for you putting balls through 13 foot hoop! But he was built for this; the wealth of ability.
Next to that could be the talent or creativity like songwriters, Bob Dillon, or the dysfunctional artists, Jimmy Hendricks, Janis Joplin or James Morrison. They all shaped culture with their music. They aren’t coming with the wealth necessarily of influence or position but their music did shape a movement; so it too can be considered the wealth of ability.
And of course the one we all go to first is the wealth of assets because the money can virtually fund anything. Money is the answer to all things. Why? Because you can buy access, you can buy influence and you can buy ability if you have enough money. But what if you don’t have the money? Does everyone have to think in terms of being king of the hill? This is the narcissistic element in American culture that we have to die to. Harsh truth – but true, yes?
Perhaps it’s time we asked God for His perspective on “wealth” and what it is to mean to us? What “wealth” is sitting in front of us (or IN us) that we did not even realize? And how are we to use that wealth to accomplish His Kingdom purposes?
Something to chew on. Thoughts?