Why I’m no longer part of the 1%

We’ve been hearing a lot about “the 1%” ever since Occupy Wall Street made headlines back in  September 2011.The average income of this elite club is over $1.5 million dollars , according to Jim Nunns, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Its upper echelon include people such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Forbes and Oprah Winfrey. There is no debate that both of the US presidential candidates are part of the 1% and this hasn’t been sitting well with some Americans. They feel that they don’t appreciate what the average person goes through especially during a down economy. These men can’t understand what it would ever be like to lose a home to foreclosure or have to make the choice between your retirement or your child’s college education. The gap seems far too large between these men and the people who will (or won’t) vote for them in November. Obama is looked at as an intellectual elitist, while Romney is viewed as a financial elitist. They just don’t seem relatable to many people.

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Being in the 1% certainly has its privileges. They are, for the most part, untouched by the recession. Though they benefit off of the spending of the 99%, their wealth very rarely goes back in the opposite direction.They control 43% of the nation’s wealth and drive most of what happens politically in the country.  There is certainly nothing wrong with wealth, but when it’s so disproportionate, it can come across as a type of injustice and exploitation to some. It’s been reported that Mitt Romney made $20,000 off each person he laid off at Bain Capital (via www.dailyfinance.com)

People are looking for a leader who can understand what they’re going through and one who genuinely cares for them. The bible tells us that Jesus was this type of leader. He’s not off at a distance making it impossible for ordinary people to access Him. In fact, the bible tells us that Jesus closed the gap between God and man to ensure our place with Him in heaven. The 1% may become rich at the expense of others, but we can become rich at the cost of Christ’s own life.  He became poor so that we could become rich. I doubt that either of these candidates would be willing to make this type of sacrifice for their voters. In fairness, most people wouldn’t do that.

Christ tells us that we are part of His 1%. He is willing to look for us to the ends of the earth to ensure that we share in the inheritance of His riches. He doesn’t want to leave any of us behind in poverty and despondency, in a spiritual as well as a natural sense.

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?  Luke 15:4

Christ promises much more than a stable economy or a reformed education system. He promises peace, love, joy and eternal life. This is much more than you would get being part of the 1%. Regardless of the outcome of the election, you can trust a God who is in constant pursuit of His lost sheep (whether they know it or not). A human soul is of much greater value than Bill Gates fortune and I’d much rather be part of this 99% for eternity rather than trading everything for temporary riches here on earth.

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