New legacy is money. Where to get it, and where to leave it. Here is a question for you:

Why do some atheists get wealthy, while most Christians, who are supposed to be blessed by God, are just getting by? That is a good question to ponder. I hear a lot of Christians give excuses, and it really saddens me. In this article, I’d like to explore some of these excuses.

First up: Is it because Christians are more generous and give more money to worthy causes than non-believers? I think that is what we a Christians like to tell ourselves about money. We don’t have much in our pockets because we’ve already given it to God’s causes.

On the flip side, we think the non-believers are getting wealthy because they don’t feel compelled to give to others. But is this really true? Is that really why they have money and we Christians don’t?

It is an easy theory to believe. It doesn’t take much brain power to say that at all, and I think most Christians do say it to themselves. And once we believe it, then we don’t really have to ask the hard questions. Because if it isn’t true that non-believers aren’t as giving, then we have to ask where they get their money from in the first place.

“Oh, that’s easy,” says the Christian, “they just got it by being unethical.”

In other words, they got it by swindling other people. Or maybe you wouldn’t call it swindling, but an excessive use of legal, but low-ball techniques.

There is some anecdotal evidence, so it is easy to believe that it happens “everywhere.” We love to talk about the used-car dealers that don’t tell us the car is a lemon, or the bank that charges all sorts of nickel-and-dime fees, or maybe the casino that stacks the odds against the gambler by intentionally distracting them with scantily-clad women.

Sure. Those things could be considered unethical, and it could be used to explain why “some” people get rich.

But we do know about those schemes ahead of time. We are smart enough to do our homework and found out who the unscrupulous people are and take actions to avoid them. We know better than trust a used car salesman when he says the car runs fine. We know which banks have the best service. We know better than to go into a casino and gamble money. Do we have to assume that everyone else is stupid?

That is the big assumption we make when we say people get rich by being unethical. You have to swindle a lot of people to get rich, and the numbers would indicate that “EVERYONE” is a gullible fool to be taken so many times.

That’s why I don’t buy the notion that the reason SO MANY non-believers have money is because they’re swindling it from everyone else. That means you’re just as stupid too.

I know you’re not stupid, which is evidenced by the fact that you’re reading this. You aren’t being taken to the cleaners every day by swindlers. But why is it so easy to believe that everyone else around us is so stupid? There are too many rich people, and they’d all have to be swindlers. There is not enough prey to go around.

This is where it gets hard for Christians. Because now you’re left with a question that requires deep thought, and that concludes with some deeper inner reflection.

What if? What if the non-believer was making money, enough money to become wealthy, by doing something good for society and the people around them?

Hmmm. Interesting question, isn’t it?

Doing good, and making money???

Shudder to think of that, from a poor person’s perspective. Especially from a Christian’s perspective, because if they can do it, why haven’t I done it?

Deep thought is required here, because now you’ve run out of excuses.

“There has got to be a reason/excuse,” your brain thinks. That is why it makes them up with only anecdotal evidence.

But what is the truth? Why is it that they do get wealthy? That is a question that someone asked of a wealthy “non-believing” man at a conference that I attended last week. The person was someone you’d call “super-productive.” He gets things done, a lot of things. And the result of that is that the person is quite wealthy. But he did not believe in God, and he flat out said he had serious doubts about his existence.

But when asked why he did the stuff he did, his response was not to make a lot of money. His response was: “legacy.”

This person wanted to attach meaning to his life. So that when he was lying on his death-bed, he could look back and say “my life had meaning to people around me.”

To me, this is the ultimate response to the command given by God:

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful” Genesis 1:28 (NIV)

When I heard this man talk about legacy, he kept using the word “service” over and over. He felt compelled that his legacy was tied to how well he served his customers, and the people he cared about. He was being fruitful.

I’m convinced that servanthood is rewarded by God with financial increase. And you don’t even have to be a Christian to eligible for that reward. It doesn’t matter what your religious background is. If you are serving those around you, there is a financial reward for it.

I’m sorry to have to say this, but when we see non-believers that are well off financially, it isn’t because they don’t give money to worthy causes, or because they’ve swindled it from others. It is because they are being more fruitful. That hurts to say that, because it is how we should be as Christians. We can learn a lot from them…

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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