Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Fix It!

You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18a

Citizens of the United States are quick to brag in the aftermath of tragedy that our strong spirit and determination will get us through and help us to rebuild the lives that were broken in the storm. We believe that we are the smartest, toughest, and most resilient people on earth. We pride ourselves in being able to come back from any recession or even depression and stand again on the stage of world dominance.

But Deuteronomy 8:17-18 speaks the truth about our past successes. Our ability to produce great wealth came directly from God’s favor on us. The reason is not that God’s likes rich people better than poor people or that He wants all of His children to be rich. When a man lives according to the revealed will of God he does those things that bring him abundance. A follower of Jesus Christ is not lazy, unreliable, scatterbrained about his work, or a slacker. He works as if God Himself were his boss. He is not satisfied with a job done “pretty well.” He demands of himself the best. When you have a nation of people with that work ethic they will prosper.

If you know much about workers in the United States today then you know that lazy and unreliable are appropriate descriptions in many instances. Not showing up for work is a big problem. They use their creative energy to figure out how to avoid work rather than how to do it better. Productivity suffers while managers scramble to motivate them to work as if they feared God. Regulations and rules increase while freedoms decline and everyone begins to understand the meaning of disgruntled!

A brief look at history itself will tell you that men and women who recognize and are committed to follow God produce the most wealth. That is where the temptation comes and it comes like a storm. When I look at the wealth God has given me the strength to produce and claim the credit for it myself, then I am mightily tempted to turn from God and go my own way in the belief that I am sufficient to take care of myself.

As a nation the United States is quite guilty of this sin. God who gives the ability to produce great wealth can just as surely take it away. Our riches are irrelevant in the eternal scheme of things, but our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is eternally important.

The world’s economic system is broken because we have all turned away from the One who gives the ability to produce wealth. Stimulus spending will not fix that problem!

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