If you bought or own the tools to buy something online this year, you are in an elite economic group; the haves. This is the result of globalization and a growing divide in our national and world economy. It is a two-tiered economy of haves and have-nots. You may not have thought about it before and maybe don’t consider yourself in the ‘have’ group of wealthy people (as we have traditionally thought of this term). But if you own a bank account, credit or debit card, a computer, smart phone, and internet (whether dial up or broadband) you possess the tools to be a part of the thriving global economy.

Choice-what we treasure as people-is at your fingertips. If you possess none of the tools I mentioned above, you are relegated to the selection of the stores or shops in close proximity to you. If the merchandise you want isn’t on the shelf in front of you at the time you are in a store, you are forced to purchase what lays before you…no choice.

The global economy raises social and spiritual questions for me. How will we engage our world economically? What is my responsibility as a human being to help the have nots? How will the haves connect with the have nots if it is easier and easier to isolate ourselves by the touch of a mouse for purchasing what we need or desire? As a believer in Christ, what is my spiritual responsibility to others less fortunate? If I can purchase electronically, I actually have no further need to even be in proximity myself to those who do not have resources available to them. I can by choice become more isolated, and by implication make others irrelevant to me and my situation.

I don’t have many or all the answers to the ramification of this kind of world. There are many good books and those speaking about it in our world. Ron Sider is one I recommend who might help you (as he has me) think through this perplexity.

But from the computer sitting on my lap in my wireless connected, broadband home (I know I am a have), I want to challenge you to consider your response both socially and spiritually. I cannot answer all the questions you might raise in your own heart, but I encourage you to consider working through your local church (if you participate in one), work with the Salvation Army, United Way Agencies, and also global agencies that are trying to help those caught in the lowest tier of our global economy. One agency I recommend is the India Gospel League. I have personally witnessed the changes in people’s lives through this organization on my own travels in India. Or “Word Made Flesh;” an organization that a young friend of mine has given his life to for the purpose of bringing peace and equality in a divided world. These two agencies I highly recommend to you as a have.

You’re a have because you are reading this blog. The question is, “What will you do about your status through your actions and in the attitude of your heart?”

Blessings for this day…grace and peace to you.
David Neidert