In a world where material wealth is often the benchmark of success, the imminent “Great Wealth Transfer” – a staggering $68 trillion expected to be passed down to Millennials by 2030 – presents not just an economic shift but a spiritual conundrum. With this impending financial windfall, the real question looms: how will this wealth be used, especially considering the trend that younger individuals often give less proportionally?
Surprisingly, despite modern affluence, only a small fraction of believers, particularly among younger generations, allocate a significant portion of their income to churches or charitable causes. This trend points to a deeper need – the need to re-envision giving, not as an obligation, but as a joyous investment in eternity.
The Bible reminds us that a good person leaves an inheritance for their offspring (Proverbs 13:22). Historically, this ensured survival and stability. However, in our contemporary context, where individuals often have independent financial trajectories, inheritances more commonly represent additional wealth rather than necessary sustenance. Herein lies a potential pitfall: without a kingdom-centered perspective, this sudden wealth can become more of a spiritual burden than a blessing.
The perils of unplanned and unguided wealth are real. It’s reminiscent of Proverbs 20:21, cautioning that an inheritance quickly gained often leads to unfruitfulness in the end. This warning isn’t mere ancient wisdom; it’s a present-day reality. Numerous stories tell of individuals, even those with noble intentions, whose lives unraveled under the weight of sudden wealth. Such narratives underscore the necessity of a grounded understanding of stewardship, one that views financial resources not as personal entitlements but as God’s provision for broader, eternal purposes.
But how do we navigate this delicate balance, especially if we are or expect to be recipients of such inheritances? First, by fostering a spirit of generosity now, irrespective of future prospects. Recognizing our global affluence, even in modest living circumstances, reorients our perspective from scarcity to abundance. This shift allows us to see ourselves as stewards of God’s riches, entrusted with resources meant for divine purposes beyond our immediate comfort or enjoyment.
Embracing this steward-centric worldview transforms how we perceive ownership. Everything we ‘own’ is, in truth, God’s (Deuteronomy 10:14). This fundamental shift in understanding liberates us from the grip of greed and self-interest. It enables us to consult God on how to allocate ‘His’ resources, fostering a lifestyle of generosity that aligns with His will.
Why does this matter? Because the joy of giving is a Biblical principle. Jesus Himself stated that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35). This isn’t just spiritual rhetoric; it’s a truth anchored in the human experience. Generosity opens the floodgates of joy in our lives. As we invest in heavenly treasures, our hearts follow suit, creating an unbreakable bond with the divine and with those we assist (Matthew 6:19–21).
Furthermore, when we view giving as ‘investing,’ it ceases to be a loss. We’re transferring wealth to a secure, eternal account, under the watchful eye of a dependable ‘bank’ – the Kingdom of God. This perspective is life-changing. It assures us of an imperishable inheritance, kept safe by God Himself (1 Peter 1:4).
So, as we stand on the brink of historical wealth transfer, let’s reassess our attitudes towards inheritance. Let’s champion a life of generosity, rooted not in the uncertainty of earthly wealth but in the surety of God’s promises. May our approach to inheritance and giving reflect our trust in God as the ultimate provider, ensuring that the wealth we receive – and redistribute – becomes a lasting blessing, rather than a hidden curse.