I’ve got good news; you’re likely on your way to being a millionaire! If you’re skeptical, consider this calculation by Randy Alcorn:
“Take…a man or woman who works from age twenty-five to sixty-five and makes ‘only’ $25,000 a year. Forget for the moment the huge additional value of health and retirement benefits, interest, pay raises, and other income sources, including inheritance or Social Security. Even without these extras, this person of modest income (by our standards) will receive a million dollars. He or she will manage a fortune.”
Just in case you missed Alcorn’s point, here’s the breakdown:
(An annual salary of $25K) X (40 years of employment) = $1,000,000
Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you had a million dollars or more at your disposal? Ever watched a game show and imagined how your life would change if you won the top prize? Have you ever considered the investments you could make into God’s Kingdom if you had $1,000,000 attached to your name?
Well, that is you. Or it likely will be. The honest mathematical truth is that most of us in the Western world will see more than a million dollars pass through our hands throughout the course of our lives. While the entirety of that sum likely won’t be found in a savings account or equal one’s net worth, there’s no denying that fact that most readers of this blog will have owned and have had access to at least a million dollars by the time they reach retirement!
Like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30, God gives us these material blessings in order that we might invest in and grow His Kingdom. We who are entrusted with more will be held to great accountability to manage it well.
It’s easy to be lured to sleep by the material abundance that surrounds us. Because our economic horizon typically stretches only as far as the neighbor’s house and our social media streams, we make wealth comparisons with others who are, quite honestly, fellow millionaires like ourselves. We forget the rare economic standing we hold in comparison to the rest of the world and the history of humanity.
Revisit the math one more time. If you make at least $25,000 a year and work from age 25 to 65, one million of God’s dollars will flow through your hands for the sake of stewardship. What would you do if God handed you $1,000,000 and said, “Invest this in My name for the sake of the gospel.”? Well, He’s done (or is in the process of doing) just that!
For many people in the Western world, there’s little room for hypothetical consideration of the parable of the talents. We don’t have to sit around wondering how we’d respond if we were granted a fortune to manage. Recognizing we’re literal millionaires in the making, we must get serious about the call to give God glory by stewarding this incredible wealth today.
*A great tool for getting serious about stewardship (and the source of this article’s lead-in quote) is the book, Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn. For a quicker read, check out Alcorn’s abridged version, The Treasure Principle.