“Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
What does righteousness mean to you? One might say, the righteous uphold the law? But are those who uphold the law still righteous when they uphold laws that are contrary to God’s will, like abortion? No, they are not, for righteousness is measured by our efforts to honor God and to do His will.
The righteous fight injustice. They stand against the forces in the world that dishonor God and they take that stance using peaceful strategies, always remembering that vengeance belongs to the Lord. St. Paul reminds us in Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
We know that God calls us to be charitable; to be charitable is to be righteous:
“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31
In Jan 2008, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates, Chairman and Founder of software giant Microsoft urged business leaders to focus on finding new ways to generate profit while helping to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. He called this “creative capitalism”. The concept is a righteous one.
Bill Gates knew the statistics of global wealth distribution. You see here are the facts:
– 2% of the world’s population own more than 50% of the total wealth in the world
– 10% of the world’s population own more than 85% of the total global wealth
– Yet, 50% of the population own less than 1% of the global wealth.
The righteous will honor God by trying to find new, creative ways to equalize the wealth, ending the despair and anguish caused by poverty. Famous economist C.K. Prahalad wrote a book called the “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”. In this book he speaks about the enormous economic growth opportunity associated with the 50% who today own less than 1% of the wealth. If the poorest people could become more prosperous, their prosperity would create new economic markets and that would mean more jobs and more wealth for all to share…but the world doesn’t tend to think that way. The world tends to think in a win-lose mentality…i.e., in order for me to have more then you must have less…but that’s not righteous thinking!
C. K. Prahalad asks, “Why can’t we mobilize the investment capacity of large firms with the knowledge and commitment of NGOs and the communities that need help? Why can’t we co-create unique solutions…New and creative approaches are needed to convert poverty into an opportunity for all concerned.” From the book The Fortune At the Bottom of the Pyramid
C.K. Prahalad was challenging corporations to invest in developing economies as a legitimate profit generating strategy while assisting the poor to break out of poverty. Imagine the potential of consumers in the developed world being able to support the righteous corporate business development efforts that were building a better world, ending poverty while growing their businesses. Businesses in partnership with NGO’s and local communities could strive to build a bigger economic pie. As consumers we could put our disposable cash behind those righteous corporate/humanitarian efforts and we could also pray for their success.
One day Jesus will return and He will end poverty and in the meantime we all have to strive to do the right thing, in His eyes. Doing the right thing is to be blessed with the wisdom of God. To be righteous is to be like Jesus, selfless. The selfless pursuit for the wellbeing of others…that’s being righteousness, that’s being blessed with God’s love!