In 2011, Wal-Mart’s total worldwide net sales total topped $418 billion, with $309 billion coming from sales within the United States. You read that correctly: 418 and 309 BILLION. If Wal-Mart were a country, its GDP for 2011 would have edged out the entire GDP of Austria making it the 27th wealthiest nation in the world. Wal-Mart’s commitment to always giving the consumer the low price has paid off and Wal-Mart’s revenue will likely only continue to rise.
Comparatively, Americans gave $298 billion to charity in 2011. This figure of course includes all charity and not simply Christian giving. Considering these figures, Americans, the most generous people on earth, gave more money to Wal-Mart in 2011 than they did to God.
My hope in this article is not to condemn Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is one of the great stories in the history of business. Sam Walton was able to show the world that hard work, and a strong commitment to business principles can make anyone, from anywhere, a great success. I do, however, hope to encourage you to think about your own generosity in 2012.
It is very easy in America to become consumed with consumerism. I am certainly tempted every time I walk into a Wal-Mart, or any other store, to buy things that I don’t need with money that could be used to serve God and my fellow man. I know many of you reading this article have been incredibly generous and for that I want to commend you. Some of you, however, have found yourself caught up in the materialism of the day spending more on yourself than others.
There is still time to remember and be generous towards your local church, a Christ centered charity, or a family in need. Generosity reaps for us an immediate feeling of satisfaction, but more than that: an eternal reward in Christ.