Let’s do a fun exercise. Pretend you suddenly win one million U.S. dollars. Maybe you survive a reality show. Maybe a wealthy stranger in Nigeria leaves you his life savings. Or perhaps that book you’re writing becomes a runaway best-seller. However it happens, overnight your bank account shoots to seven figures. What would you do next?
“Celebrate!” you might say.
Okay, take time to rejoice over your windfall. But what’s the next thing you do? Buy a mansion? Travel around the world? Splurge on a Ferrari? Or purchase a new __________ ? [Pause and seriously think—what would you do if you unexpectedly became wealthy? Don’t continue until you have a couple ideas in mind.]
I might not ever face this scenario, yet I’ve considered it more than once. One conclusion I reach every time is that I personally do not need a million bucks. Sure, it’s fun to fantasize about possibilities if price is no obstacle. However, as a Christian, I hold the viewpoint that, to whom much has been given, much shall be required. This world is full of more problems and opportunities. So, if I were to receive sudden riches and used all (or even most) of them to indulge my own selfish pleasures, I believe that would be irresponsible. As I travel inside the U.S. and overseas in my Christian ministry, I regularly see excellent projects to aid orphans, to salvage addicts, to assist kids with disabilities. In post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine, there is freedom to build churches, to distribute Bibles, to operate Bible colleges to advance the Kingdom of God…. The number of worthy projects seems endless. Granted, it would be smart at least to pay off the mortgage on my home, but wouldn’t it be exciting to handpick some worthwhile efforts and make a difference in people’s lives?
Okay, your turn. Maybe you think I’m too much of a philanthropist. Or maybe you believe I would change my tune if a rich Nigerian really did write me into his will. Pause and leave a comment—what would you do if you won $1 million?