“Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
“Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
“Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you.
“Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
The hills bring it their produce,
and all the wild animals play nearby.
Under the lotus plants it lies,
hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream surround it.
A raging river does not alarm it;
it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
or trap it and pierce its nose?”
…and following on to chapter 41 to describe more things to Job are beyond his comprehension.
Or, in David’s psalms,
“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.”
So, I’m following politics like a good Christian citizen, and watching the speeches.
And I’m disturbed. One party says, “You didn’t build that.” The other insists indignantly that, yes, indeed, “We built that.”
Neither party seems to recognize fully two things: 1) interdependence. We –WE– as a society built that. You didn’t build it by yourself. It took contractors, customers, architects, computer programmers -the list goes on. We depend on each other. I think that may have been what the President was meaning. No man is an island, even in small business.
Second, neither party is exhibiting any form of humility, at least that I’ve seen. Humility doesn’t win elections, apparently. Who knew?
We are quick to claim credit, quick to assign blame to someone else. I suppose that’s just human nature.
I’ve finally come up with a basic economic philosophy for myself — I think I can go out on a limb and say for my family as well. But I don’t see this idea anywhere in the “real world” much. Here it is:
First, from Ephesians 4:28:
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need.
So, then, we work not to gather wealth, but to share. We avoid poverty and dishonest gain not to avoid suffering, but so as to not be a burden or a curse to our neighbor. The end here is common good, not personal wealth. If we are blessed, it is in order to pass that blessing on to our neighbor.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for theLord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from theLordas a reward. It is theLord Christ you are serving.
We work hard, then, not for our own personal gain or reputation, but for the Lord, serving Him and not ourselves.
And from Philippians 4:11-13
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
There are times when hard work results in material blessing, and times when it results in subsistence. There may also be times when it results in poverty. But we work anyway, in contentment that if we are following His path, what we are given is what we need, and whatever we are faced with, it is not more than we can bear through His strength.
So now comes the difficult part. Where on earth does that weird kind of economic thinking fit politically? Nowhere I’ve found yet this side of heaven. But to me, it makes perfect sense. Guess I’m strange that way.