Those of us who live in the developed west have such a skewed view of the world and its reality. I find lists like this to be extremely helpful in seeing things more the way God does, than our own national interests ever let us do.
If you could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:
- 57 Asians
- 21 Europeans
- 14 from the Western Hemisphere
- 8 African
- 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
- 80 would live in substandard housing
- 70 would be unable to read
- 50 would suffer from malnutrition
- 1 would be near death
- 1 would be near birth
- 1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
- 1 would own a computer
One of the things that astounded me while touring the Apartheid Museum in South Africa was how 20% of the population could actively discriminate and oppress the other 80% in their own land. They had all the wealth, health care and benefits while people across the street had virtually nothing.
Look at these statistics again. How is that not true now of those of us who have adequate (dare we say abundant) housing, education and health care? How would God have us live financially in a world so devastated by need and where resources are distributed so unfairly? What are our responsibilities help others who do not have the advantages we do? Surely our world is horribly out of synch with the heart of the Creator, and what a great day it will be when he comes to set right all that has tormented the people he loves.
I know this is an uncomfortable perspective for us (see yesterday’s blog), but sometimes that’s good exactly what will bring us perspective. I don’t share it to provoke guilt, which would be worthless anyway. But in view of all that the Scriptures teach about looking out for the poor and oppressed, this might be a perspective we desperately need as we pray and listen to Father’s heart and see how he would have us to live in the world with generosity toward others.