A few days ago I read on my friend's, Andrew Marin, Facebook the following quote:
"You cannot abolish poverty unless you also abolish affluence."
Ouch. I hated that quote as soon as a finished reading it, yet something inside me resonated with a deeper "yes". I hate that quote - truth? - because I am a person of affluence. I can often fool myself into thinking I am not because I'm a pastor living in Orange County, CA, but the truth is I am very affluent compared to the world's standards. If you're reading this blog, you are affluent too. Don't believe me? Check out: http://www.globalrichlist.com/ for the proof.
I know I'm affluent because I'm typing this on a laptop, watching TV, have a few dollars in a savings account, own 2 cars, have a mortgage, am not worrying what's for dinner, and will sleep tonight in a king-size bed. And the honest truth is: I like my life. Thinking about abolishing my poverty is beyond challenging because it means that a lot of how I live would have to change! Of course, we 2 kids in Africa with World Vision. We live on less than we earn. We tithe more than 10%. For the love, we're adopting a baby. But that doesn't make me superior...it's only the beginning of loosening the hold on affluence in order to bring more equality to this world.
It just won't work like this, but I wish it did.
I was talking to my 18 year old brother today, and he was sharing about his recent mission's trip to Mexico. His greatest take-away and frustration is how complacent we are. The truth is that abundance breeds complacency. It just does. I wish that abundance produced a passionate movement toward giving more away, helping the poor, saying "no" to the things we really do not need, but it doesn't. It lulls us into believing we need more, risk less, and maybe care a little bit about the need around.
Agh...I'm not calling you out. I'm calling me out. And I'm praying that this Baby Ethiopia journey propels us into less and less complacency. Any thoughts on what you've learned about this? How are you combatting complacency and abolishing poverty?