Thanksgiving: Are You Rich? Take This Test.

Repeat after me: “I am filthy rich.”

I know. I know. I learned this week that we need $15,000 to replace the cooling system in our home. And that’s the off-season price. I know you have bills and pressures that are probably even more pressing. But still….

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on how much we have for which to be grateful. So I’m thinking some categories from leadership expert Robin Sharma, author of The Greatness Guide, might provide us with some structure for thinking how much we have. He identifies seven forms of wealth:

·      Inner wealth

·      Physical wealth

·      Family and social wealth

·      Career wealth

·      Economic wealth

·      Adventure wealth

Think about these categories, and consider how much our walk with Christ adds to ourl many forms of wealth:

·      Inner wealth. We have peace with God, a hope-filled future, a promise that we will inherit the whole earth because our Father owns it all. When worried, we can meditation on “I will be with you…”; when grieving, on “He shall wipe away every tear….” Do you know Christ? You are insanely wealthy!

·      Physical wealth. Think about the five senses. My friend Mike is blind. Unlike him, what a wealth of colors I enjoy every day! Even a pitch-black sky dotted with only white twinkles—a scene devoid of color—would thrill him if only he could see it again for five minutes.

We can hear Handel’s Messiah and the sound of loved one’s voices. And the smells of turkey, cranberries, and green-bean casserole. The taste of pumpkin pie or chocolate mousse. The touch of our family members’ hugs. If we happen to be in good general health, all the better. Can you walk or lift or swim? 

·      Family and social wealth.  When my husband and I could not have children, a friend who had no parents made us his mom and dad. Life in the body of Christ means that everyone belongs, everyone is welcome, everyone has brothers and sisters and parents and children. Add to that our networks of friends. The fruit of these is shared meals and deep conversations. Are you rich in these? Give thanks. Are you happily married? Do you have a roommate you appreciate? Give thanks! Children you love? Be grateful! What about mentors and advisors? Or people you mentor and advise? Think of your meaningful relationships and recognize your riches!

·      Career wealth. The apostle Paul exhorts us to do all things to the glory of God. Whether teaching, serving tables, wiping noses, casting vision, or playing the violin, all of our work has value. Do you find meaning in what you do? Are you reaching your potential in some areas? Give thanks.

·      Economic wealth. Has your God supplied all our need? Do you have enough money that you can give some away? My friend in South Africa says that if people in her church possess more than one shirt, they bring it to offer a sister or brother who has none. Those of us who make more than $3 per day and who have at least a kindergarten education (everyone reading this) live well above the international poverty line. Do you have food in your pantry for your next meal? Can you ever plan for your next dinner without having to first earn the money to pay for it? Possess a change of clothes? Give thanks!

·      Adventure wealth. Christ came to bring abundant life. And He made to to create. So we don’t have to bungee jump or ski double-black diamond slopes to have adventure in our lives. Life with a person or people we love can be an adventure. Learning to write stories when I had only ever written non-fiction was an adventure for me. It stretched me and helped me develop potential I did not know I had. Are you creating something? Experiencing his creation? Give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving, my filthy-rich friend!

Sandra Glahn, who holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and a PhD in The Humanities—Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas/Dallas, is a professor at DTS. This creator of the Coffee Cup Bible Series (AMG) based on the NET Bible is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books. She's the wife of one husband, mother of one daughter, and owner of two cats. Chocolate and travel make her smile. You can follow her on Twitter @sandraglahn ; on FB /Aspire2 ; and find her at her web site: aspire2.com.

Leave a Reply