How much do you think you would have to make to be in the top 1% of income earners in the world? $1 million a year? How about $500k. Surely $200k would put you in the top 1% globally. Nope! According to this intriguing article from Investopedia, only $32,400 per year puts you in the top 1% of income earners in the world. I was shocked too!
While this number stunned me with how low it was when I read it, it also made me think about and focus on what wealth means to me. We often throw around the questions, “what would you do if you had a million dollars?” This is a good, thought-provoking question if you really think about it! Go ahead, you can think about it right now. What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Many of us would go get a nice car, buy a house, take a sweet vacation to somewhere tropical. The opportunities feel endless! What about helping people? Maybe you would give part of the money to your high school so future students could play on a nicer football field, or the music program could purchase some new concert equipment for their performances. Maybe you would pay off your parents’ mortgage as payback for all that they have given you. Or maybe you would donate part of it to an organization who you believe does great and vitally important work.
We may not have $1 million. But if you are reading this and you live in the United States, there is a good chance that you or your household combined makes more money than that $32,400 figure above. We are blessed, friends, beyond belief. What are we going to do about it?
Our journey out of debt as a couple is the first big step for us to be where I would like our family to be financially. Sure, I am looking forward to the day when I don’t have to make a student loan payment. It will be nice when I am not accruing any interest against me, and instead, I only have investments churching interest for me. But for me, the greatest joy will be in the surplus. Not because of what material possessions it may bring me, not to see the number on my bank statement grow, but because I will be able to more actively and generously bless others. Being rich is not a sin. 1 Timothy 6:10 is often misquoted and misused to say that “money is the root of all evil.” However, in the NIV it reads: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Money is never the problem, our hearts are.
If you find yourself a citizen of these United States, we find ourselves in rare financial air. We get to call home one of the richest, if not the richest civilizations of all time. What are we going to do with that responsibility? For me, I always hope the focus can be off of myself and on Christ and others. What can I do for my fellow man or woman?
I hope that one day I do have wealth. May it never be about the money, but rather, may it always be about the good that can be accomplished with it.
What are you working for today? What are you going to do with your important position? What would you do with a million dollars?