Are you rich? Most of us would say “no” in answer to that question. It’s easy to look around and see others who have more financial means than we do. But like many other questions, the answer depends on our comparison.
Are you tall, strong or healthy? We realize that we are taller than some and shorter than others. The same applies to our strength or health. So what about our wealth?
We consider a family of four in the United States of America to be living below the poverty line if their family income is less than $23,850, or about $65 a day (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm). According to the World Bank, nearly 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. More than six in 10 people worldwide lack ready access to safe drinking water.
About 1.5 billion people live every day without electricity. How do those people cook or heat their home? Many do so with coal or other biofuels — indoors. Indoor air pollution kills 11 times more people in developing countries than in prosperous developed countries.
When we Americans look at most of the rest of the world, it is clear that all of us are rich by comparison. So how do we use the resources entrusted to our care? Paul’s charge to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is to: “Command those who are rich … to be generous and willing to share,” and that by doing so, people of faith “may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
In this Christmas season, I urge us all to look for ways to be generous to those who are less fortunate.
Cary Holman is a regional representative of the Free Methodist Foundation and an associate professor of communication at Greenville College. He and his wife, Tonya, live in Greenville, Illinois, and attend the Greenville Free Methodist Church.
 How do you decide that you need to buy a particular item?
 Think of people you know who are generous. Why are they generous?
 What is one thing you could do right now to help a particular individual or family who is less fortunate than you?