Thursday, December 5, 2013

Want To Be Righteous? Think Like Rich Dad

Rich people think differently. We get it. But what about righteous people? I'll define "righteous" in a moment, but let's start by talking about wealth.

A simple internet search can help you find at least 5, or as many as 21 ways rich people think differently from average citizens. Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki distills them down to a fundamental difference of philosophy:
"My real dad was very educated, worked hard, and made a good income. However, he held traditional views about money and as a result ended up struggling financially all his life – I call him my poor dad. My rich dad, (my friend’s dad) did not have a college degree, also worked hard, but he thrived financially. Unlike my poor dad, he had a rich mindset and thought about money very differently and as a result ended up being one of the richest men in Hawaii."
Kiyosaki asserts (and I agree) that rich people think differently about every facet of wealth: careers, assets, real estate, taxes, spending, saving, giving, education, and time. If you've read any 21st century motivational material (book, blog, facebook post), you get it. We get it. Thanks Millionaire authors. Thanks Internet. We get it.

Because we get it, I won't write much more on how rich people think. But herein lies a principle that may apply to another area of life: Righteousness.

Wondering what's up with this guy? Click HERE
What is righteousness? 

These days, we think of it as an outstanding degree of morality (sometimes perceived negatively, e.g. "He thinks he's so righteous"), but the prevailing concept through time and various languages (including Latin: "iusticia"; Hebrew: "tzedekah"; and Hawaiian: "pono") is balance. The righteous life is the balanced life. For the Christian, this means a life in alignment with the teachings of Jesus, weighing one's values/actions on one side of the scale with scripture on the other. "Am I loving, faithful, humble, repentant, dependent upon God? etc." If the scales line up, this is the balanced, righteous life for the Christian.

Unfortunately, false righteousness is all around us. People tout their faith, yet act out of line with their own beliefs. This leaves the observing masses with a sour disposition toward "believers". Their lasting impression is ironically not one of righteousness, but of unrighteousness.

I am not unsympathetic toward religious hypocrites. Throughout my youth I have been a prince among them -- lying, stealing, cussing, and coveting in spite of the faith I professed. And what that half-hearted devotion led me to do was shine down, in other words, dim this little light of mine. If you've been a Christian long enough, you feel me right now. Living a righteous life is hard.

But maybe a truly righteous man thinks differently than the average citizen.

For the sake of illustration, let's pull that Robert Kiyosaki quote down and replace the parts about wealth with references to faith and righteousness.
 "My real dad was seminary educated, attended church, served his community, and prayed and read his Bible daily. However, he held traditional views about religion and as a result ended up struggling with righteousness all his life – I call him my poor dad. My rich dad, (my friend’s dad) did not have a theology degree, also attended church, served his community, and prayed and read his Bible daily. Unlike my poor dad, he had a righteous mindset and thought about faith very differently and as a result ended up being one of the most upstanding men in Hawaii."
Could this be a feasible reality? Absolutely. To the casual observer, the two men described above look very similar, but they differ in levels of peace and prosperity due to the way they think. The real difference is in the minds of men.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world," says the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2, "but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Can anyone else see valuable parallels between the mind of the rich and the mind of the righteous? I'm still developing my thoughts on this. Would love to hear yours.