20 Jun Is The Economy Everything?
Now I remember when I was a political science student in the Uni, we were studying about the different American president. And one of the most popular president in modern times were none other than Bill Clinton. He beat an incumbent president and went on to win subsequent elections. And one reason for his successful election campaign was summed up in an infamous phrase which he coined: “It’s the economy, stupid!” Now, that means to say he believes absolutely that every politician who wants to win big in an election has to put his focus on achieving a booming economy as his top most priority. He seems to believe politician who could create good jobs and distribute wealth to the common people will inevitably win elections. Now I believe that idea has to a large degree influence politician around the world, at least in developed nations. And the COVID-19 situation seems to verify that. I mean all around the world, you see government struggle between saving lives and the economy. GDP, employment, trade seems to be the topmost concerns of national leaders. Countries are bleeding, not only because lives are lost, but more so because the economy is going down.
So it seems to me that the idea that everything revolves around the economy is characterizing every society, every family, and eventually everyone. People doesn’t want to just have enough, but they want more. They want more spending power, they wish for financial freedom, they continually strive for a high life. Now, I’m not finding fault with people who lost their jobs during this period and have problem putting food on the table. But it’s telling that people in general are not contented with food, clothing and a roof over their heads. People are pursuing a kind of wealth, where riches are seen as a form of security and status.
And godlessness springs from there, my brethren. There you will see a new culture of godliness without contentment starts to take root in the church. People starts to view the favor of God as being successful in every area of their life and that very much includes finance. Now, what a “shrewdly invented gospel” that fits so well in a first world nation. What a skewed gospel that has corrupted many hearts, especially those young and naive ones who yearn for quick success. The hope in trusting God and rejoicing in His salvation has been replaced with something so material, something so short term.
Well, you say that’s how the world works. The one in power must promise wealth, be it the secular leader, or the spiritual leader. Now honestly, that is the saddest thing that is happening to our world now. That is also the most corrupted thing that is happening in our Era of Christianity. When people lose their dignity because of wealth, you will start to see the church trade the gospel for material prosperity. No longer do you see people, especially people of the next generation honor trust, respect, love, hard work, consistency more than financial gain. Instead, all these attributes are used shrewdly as a way to monetary gain. How sad is it right?
Now, let the people of God be reminded that we are called for a heavenly purpose. That purpose, that calling far supersedes any gain we could have in this world. Let us be reminded of what the Apostle has proudly professed: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ”. So my brethren, live simply and humbly my brethren! The more you have, the simpler you live. And you will have nothing to worry about when an economy crisis hits. You will be sheltered because you value the riches of contentment instead of putting your trust in material riches.
Now, let me end with a few verses to bring us beyond the riches of this world. Can we turn to <Revelations 3:17-18>. Now, I find this verse so thought provoking, especially for leaders who think that wealth and a prospering economy is an indication of blessing. If acquiring wealth has been your goal, let this verse show you where you have gone wrong.
<v17>: You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Now, this verse is so telling, isn’t it? As we read it again and again, take a hard look at ourselves, and you will know how blind we have been. We have been blind to the value of things. We thought having wealth is everything. We thought having a booming economy is all we need as a nation. We thought going to church is about receiving blessing in terms of health and wealth. How superficial, my brethren! Now, the Lord is effectively saying in this verse here, if you believe acquiring riches and wealth is all that you need, then all you are gonna have is wealth, and nothing else. No values, no ethics, and no eternal salvation. You will miss the most important things that God has given you in Christ! And what are the most important things mentioned here? I can name you three. The Lord said:
(1) Buy from me gold refined in fire.
Now, that is your “faith” which could stand the test of fire. Now nothing is gonna protect you from a world economic crisis other than your unswerving faith in the Lord Himself. Money will not get you through, jobs will not get you through, only faith in God will get you through. Faith will give you the richness of the heart.
(2) White clothes to wear.
Now, that seems to mean “holiness”. Shameful are those who only think about getting rich. They are trading their dignity and ethics away my brethren. They have stoop so low to think only about dollars and cents in what they are doing. They have cheated, they’ve taken advantage of others. Now, God wants you to cloth yourselves with His holiness, so that you can live your heads high even as you live simply.
(3) Salve to put on your eyes so that you can see.
Now that seems to mean “wisdom”. Now, in a crisis, it’s not about having more, it’s about being wise. Be wise to see through the motives of men. Be wise to see beyond short term benefits. Say, if you’re a graduate looking for a job. Look for one that could equip you holistically, stretches your potential, rather than one which comfortably pays well. Seek wisdom in all things, my brethren. As <Proverbs 3:13> says: Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.
So my brethren, there are important things way beyond dollars and cents. Pursue those things as the Lord has commanded and you will not live to regret.