Monday, August 2, 2010

Guilty of being rich

This past weekend I had some hard thinking to do about various subjects, but one of them was feeling guilty.  "Guilty for what?"  Guilty for being rich.  "Rich?  I thought you were a teacher."  I am a teacher, however simply by virtue of being middle class in the USA makes me richer than probably 75% of the rest of the world.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have seen a little of what poverty looks like when I was in Mexico.  That and my frugal upbringing have combined to really make me feel guilty for being rich.  Drew and I do sponsor a child in Guatemala.  We give often to charities as needs come to our attention.  I do so gladly and joyfully, but do I also do so selfishly?  Do I give to make myself feel better or is it really for God's glory and a genuine desire to help my fellow man?  Most of the time I do think it is a desire to help my fellow man and for the glory of God.  However, the guilt does remain.

I even feel guilty for a show of wealth from others.  For instance, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought like a $40 million dollar house somewhere in Europe this past week.  The probably have enough money and they certainly do good works as well, so don't they have the right to spend their money.  Yes, but I still feel guilty for them.  Was all that house really necessary?  What could have been done with that money?  Maybe the most important question, why is it my business?  It isn't, so why do I get obsessed about things like this.  Shouldn't people, myself included, be able to enjoy what God has given them without worrying about others every second of the day?  Yes and I often don't get caught up in this guilt, but some days I do and it is overwhelming.  At what point is this a healthy guilt that pushes me to remember the blessings God has given me and my responsibility to give to others and at what point is it unhealthy and unrealistic?  I don't have answers, but it is a struggle for me trying to balance these two ideas.

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