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Always Wanting

Always Wanting

01 June 2010

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 19-21; Romans 13

Scripture:

Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have; the God-loyal are always giving what they do have. (Proverbs 21:26 MSG)

Ok, you don’t have to read this unless you want to. I’m just warning you in advance.

A friend and I were talking about the economic downturn. We talked about the approach our western society is taking to trying to recover from the slow-down and get the powerful engines that drive our economy revved up again. The way to recover is to spend more money! That makes the wheels turn. Makes sense to me. But if you don’t have the money, and the only solution is to spend money, you have to go in debt. Feel free to stop reading now, because it’s frustrating.

To recover the economy, we’ve got to spend money we don’t have. To spend money we don’t have, we’ve got to imprison ourselves with debt. To be willing to do that to ourselves, we’ve got to be driven by dissatisfaction with what we have and the desire for what we don’t have. Yikes!

Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code… don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of, finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. (Romans 13:8-9 MSG) Yes, I checked. One of the law codes (The Ten Commandments) says “Don’t always be wanting what you don’t have!”

It’s hard to know what to do. To be a good citizen, I apparently need to go deeply in debt to help make the wheels of the economy turn. To be willing to do that, I’ve got to be pretty much driven by the desire to acquire things I don’t have (and probably don’t need!). And in all of that confusion, if I’m not careful I could forget that God’s economy is driven by generously giving what I do have to those who have less, not by wanting stuff others have. Now don’t you wish you’d stopped reading when I told you to?

Prayer:

Father, I need help with this. I want to be a good provider, a generous giver, and a good citizen of my country. But I don’t want to be driven by wanting stuff I don’t have and I don’t want to be imprisoned by debt. Show me how to do it your way. Amen.

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