He said lottery winners and professional athletes are rich, but not always wealthy. Many have their riches consumed by maintaining a high standard of living. Professional boxers have come out of retirement because their riches are gone and their sport is viewed as the only means to earn more money. Lottery winners return to gamboling in hopes of getting lucky again. Business men and women may not appear rich, but are wealthy because they re-invest their earnings into their business or other successful businesses and generate more money.
Two kings in the Bible made statements that sound like boasts or over-exaggerations:
Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
Consider their words if they were given from a position of wealth. Each king knew that if they gave away half of their riches they had the ability with the remaining half to build it back to their current wealth. These kings had the skill, ability, and leadership to generate income.
Why do you think these statements were included in the Bible?
They were part of a narrative that had implications that were not centered on their wealth. It was centered on the authority each king had to grant grand requests. Queen Esther made a request regarding the safety of her people. Herodias, through her daughter, made a request for the death of John the baptizer.
The Holy Spirit gives each believer spiritual gifts. One of the gifts is the gift of giving.
Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
God gives people the ability to be wealthy, so they have an authority to give away up to half their kingdom, their riches and be confident that they can use what remains to build it back up, so they can use their spiritual gift to give more.