“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honoured by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:2-4
There is prejudice amongst some Christians toward other believers with wealth. These Christians quickly judge and justify their right to do so by finding random damning articles written by people who are just as judgemental as they are.
I recently read a Social Media comment criticizing the leader of a worldwide ministry by calling him evil and corrupt. The commentator used a gossip rag’s YouTube video as so-called proof. When asked if he checked the YouTube video’s facts, he refused to comment further.
I happen to know that his judgment targeted a minister who is independently wealthy due to the oil found on their family’s land many decades ago. He lives off oil revenue and income earned through book sales. He does receive a minimal salary from the ministry he heads, but it’s more of an honorarium than a salary.
This brother in the Lord is incredibly generous but follows the Bible verse above. He doesn’t send out press releases when he gives. He’d much rather see his money go to a good cause than see his money go to a fancy red-carpet event.
Years ago, I was blessed to hear Joy Dawson speak at a Youth With a Mission base. Hundreds of young missionaries gathered. Most of us lived on limited incomes.
Joy rebuked the crowd of young missionaries for judgemental attitudes toward wealthy Christians. When she finished, we all knelt in deep repentance on the dirt floor of the base’s pavilion.
Joy and her husband, Jim, lived a simple life. Still, they were invited into many wealthy people’s homes. Most of these people gave sacrificially to countless missionary projects. They did so only if the Dawsons agreed that their financial contribution would never be publicly mentioned. These dear saints adhered to Jesus’ command to not flaunt charitable endeavours. Some of the Dawson’s friends were well known but secretly gave vast percentages of their wealth away.
I will never forget the grief in Joy’s voice as she spoke of the loneliness many of her wealthy friends felt. It was rare for them to find friends who loved them for themselves and not for their wealth. They also spoke of people they longed to be in fellowship with. But those people feared being seen as opportunists and kept a distance.
If you don’t know an individual, stop judging them. Go one step further, and stop judging, period! Stop the witch hunts against the wealthy! Stop reading disgruntled blogs and watching sensationalistic YouTube channels whose sole purposes are to destroy reputations and tear down ministries.
Pray for Christians who are in the limelight and those who hold positions of power and wealth. Be swift to believe the good and be slow to accept the bad! Repent of jealousy and envy. Be faithful stewards of what the Lord has provided for you today, and He will reward that stewardship.
©2023 Katherine Walden