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New Report Shows the Wealthy Give Less When Times Are Tough

Generosity Affluence Compassion

Source: "Report: Rich Americans Give Less to Charity at least in terms of percentage of income" By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff, Posted Oct 6, 2014

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-20

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

As the years of America's lagging economy drag on, one thing has remained fairly constant: Americans, overall, give about 3% of their income to charity. What has changed, however, is the relative proportion of giving amongst America's upper and lower classes. A new report based on IRS data shows that between the years of 2006 through 2012, richer Americans (those making over $200,000 per year) gave 4.6% LESS to charity, while their less affluent counterparts (those making less than $100,000 per year) gave 4.5% MORE.

The implication here is that as times get tough, the affluent tend to cling to their wealth, while the less affluent reach out to meet the needs of others.

APPLICATION

There is something about identifying with the needs of others that seems to enhance our capacity to not just feel their pain, but our desire to assuage it. This was certainly the example of the Macedonian believers who, as the Apostle Paul said, "welled up in rich generosity" and gave "even beyond their ability." 

"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us" (2 Corinthians 8:1-6).

Are Rich People Unethical

Greed Narcissism Affluence

Source: “Are Rich People Unethical?” by Mikaela Conley, ABC News – Mon, Feb 27, 2012

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-04

Scripture: Matthew 19:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

"Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley analyzed a person's rank in society (measured by wealth, occupational prestige and education) and found that those who were richer were more likely to cheat, lie and break the law than those who were poorer.

"’We found that it is much more prevalent for people in the higher ranks of society to see greed and self-interest … as  good pursuits,’ said Paul Piff, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate at Berkeley. …

“Greed is a ‘robust’ determinant of unethical behavior, according to the study. … ‘What it comes down to, really, is that money creates more of a self-focus, which may account for larger feelings of entitlement,’ said Piff.”

APPLICATION

Greed. Self-interest. Entitlement. Modern statistics bear out the words of Christ, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). 

Illustration Exchange

The Disease of Possessions

Temptation Materialism Affluence

Source: Various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-07

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

As of 2014, the average American carries some $10,000 in credit card debt, give or take a $1000 (up from approximately $7500 in 2000). The average grocery store stocks nearly 40.000 items from which to pick and choose. Since 2001 the number of storage facilities doubled to over 58,000, with over 2.3 billion square feet of available space to stash our ever growing piles of stuff.

APPLICATION

Chief Sitting Bull, who saw his people pushed from their lands and legacies to accommodate the American dream of expansion and possession, saw the writing on the wall over 150 years ago, saying, "The love of possessions is a disease with them."

"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs" (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

The Paradox of Compassion

Compassion Affluence Paradox

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-06

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Keeping God's Money

Giving Affluence Perspective

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-21

Author: J. Oswald Sanders
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14 Days of Happiness

Happiness Affluence Fulfillment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-09-29

Scripture: Psalms 71:5 ; Jeremiah 17:7

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Win or Lose

Success Christlikeness Selfless

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Philippians 2:5

Author: Carlos Arribas
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The Lifetime Pass That Was Never Used

God's Promises Faith Blessings/Blessedness

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-11

Scripture: Proverbs 16:20 ; Matthew 7:24

Author: Howard Harden
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Go In Peace?

Poverty Faith Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-21

Scripture: James 2:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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A Lesson In Stacking Priorities

Priorities Love for God Success

Contributed By: Jason Sommerfeldt | Date Posted: 2017-10-07

Scripture: Matthew 22:37 ; Matthew 6:33

Author: Jason Sommerfeldt
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