Several times a week I come home and tell Linda I have the world’s greatest job because I spend my days talking to the world’s greatest people. I only wish the journalists who feed us endless stories of greed and selfishness could meet my clients who have hearts at least as large as their wallets. More than a few of my clients give away more of their money than they spend on themselves, and they make personal sacrifices so that they can.
In my experience, judging others for being selfish and greedy is a fool’s errand. First of all, it is quite possible those being judged may very well be generous; they just don’t go tooting their horns about it. The truly charitable don’t scream from mountaintops to let the world know they are generous. Instead, they normally whisper from inside of wells so others might never see.
Secondly, people who look wealthy may in fact be one payroll distribution away from bankruptcy. At least once a month I meet with a business owner who once had a high income or notable net worth but today is faced with the prospect of losing all or most of their financial security. Many of these folks are extremely generous, and the thought of not having enough to give is a real blow to their sense of purpose.
Finally, “judge, not lest ye be judged.” In America, there are very few who can sit on the throne of judgment over another. I have been in the money advice business for over 20 years, and I have heard hundreds of people, who drive nice cars, subscribe to cable television, and vacation in warm locations during winter, who bad mouth those who drive nicer cars, have better cable packages, or who own a 2nd home in warm places, ridiculing them for being “selfish.” When Jesus honored the poor widow for her offering of two pennies, He was explaining that giving is supposed to be sacrificial. If we removed the planks from our own eyes we might be able to see opportunities for charity more clearly.
Money is neither moral nor immoral; it is amoral. Those who have it aren’t necessarily evil, and those who don’t aren’t necessarily saints. For the good of our own souls, when it comes to judging others on charity, we should keep our focus on ourselves.