Monday, March 7, 2016

Man's Economy vs. God's Economy


There's a lot of rancor in the political world of US politics.  I reshared today's illustration as a commentary on some of today's political thought.  But, as I was rereading it, I started thinking about it, there's a spiritual aspect to that, too.  While some would suggest that the things of this world are separate from the spiritual realm.  But can we think, say, or do anything without it either being effected by the spiritual or it effecting our spiritual life?  Let's take a look.

The first truth lays the groundwork.  Anything of this earth has a finite, limited quantity.  By our own thinking.  Even money, which is an artificial form of trade, has limits.  If a country suddenly prints double the amount of currency, it doesn't create double its wealth.  Instead, the money markets react by devaluing that country's money to a point where it's close to half the original value.  When people say a government can just print more money to cover a need, no they can't.  The moment they do, they change the value of their currency.  That's why there's inflation and deflation.  But, what about God?

When we mention God, we're talking about the creator of the universe.  He doesn't need to take from anyone else to give to another.  Remember, God is omnipotent, all loving, omniscient.  The reality is that, while He may set up certain conditions as ideal and others to be avoided, they're not legislated.  Yes, if A happens, the result is always B, but God gave us free will to choose what we do.  The results become the consequences of our decisions.  That's even true for God.  If He changes His mind about something, He creates a different result.

Number two holds some relevant answers.  In society, there's a finite amount of anything.  Whether a person picks it up off the ground, mines it, manufactures it, or whatever, he's done something to gain it.  That person can then trade part or all of that with another person for something both agree is of mutual value.  If the second person just takes an asset from the other party, it doesn't matter what the reason or whether it's secretly or through violence -- that's still theft.  If a third party, such as a government, acts as a middleman, it's still a form of theft.  

Don't take those statements wrong.  There are some who need assistance because they are in some way involuntarily incapacitated.  That ought to be fully covered, voluntarily.  But those have physical or mental disabilities that prevent working or are temporarily out of work.  They aren't hampered by addictions that could be dealt with and they're not scamming the system.  But that gets us away from today's discussion.

Think about what #2 says: "What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.".  If there's a finite limit to our resources, then #2 has to be right.  But let's put that into perspective in comparison to God's economy.  Two verses should clarify it.

Isaiah 45:7 (NKJV)  I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' 

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

What we see, here is that God is in control of every situation.  And He's the Creator of what exists. The reality of what that means is so vast it's beyond our capacity to comprehend.  He has all power. In terms of our economic discussion, God can add or take away, we can't.  He can just create it. We have no such powers, which brings us to #3.

Politicians and the government would like us to think they're all powerful.  If we know God, we know that's not true.  And it's where #3 comes into play, along with #1.  The government has NO resources.  Unlike God, they don't create anything they use.  In order to give resources to those really or supposedly in need, it has to take them from the rest of us.  In most cases, it's called taxes.  They take from those earning money, by law.  Often, politicians will promise great things and then one of several things happens.
  1. What was promised never happens, because there isn't enough money in the government's coffers to follow through.  The politicians may already have known that.
  2. The projects and programs may happen, but not at the level promised, possibly halting before reaching the intended goal.  Because they're underfunded.
  3. The taxes increase to cover the ambitious, possibly unrealistic, goals.  Which is where truth #1 connects with #3.  The funding has to come from somewhere.  Unlike God, the government can't just create resources without devaluing the ones that already exist.  The alternative is to take from those who have in order to give it to those who don't.  The result is taxes, then tax increases, plus legislated personal and corporate benefit programs.
All of that takes from those who work to give to those who don't/won't.  Notice that I didn't say those who can't.  As I said before, that's a totally different and deserving class of people.  The government has to make the worker poorer to support those who won't work.  Which brings in #4.

Even splitting the atom doesn't get two atoms of the same size and composition as the original one. Only a well performed magic trick gets what appears to be two of the same thing by splitting something.  And magic tricks are illusions, an acceptable form of fraud, intended for entertainment purposes only.  Not to convince people it can really happen.  I suspect some believe what they say is true, out of a desire for the best for others, but being mistaught.  However, good motives don't suddenly make wrong thinking correct.

Romans 3:4 (NKJV)  Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."

The verse really deals with something else, but the application is still valid.  The wrong actions based on good intentions still leaves the actions wrong, even though the heart is right.

That whole economic mess leaves us with #5, which is a mire of bad motives, bad thinking, and bad results.  We get different people doing different things wrong, and the reasoning that causes it to happen may also be wrong.  And it doesn't matter whether the person whose thinking is wrong is liberal or conservative.  There's another example of bad thinking on both sides.

The liberal mind is certain "trickle down" economics is innately unworkable.  And in a lot of cases, it appears that way.  The conservative economist looks at the theory and a few examples and decides it always works.  And neither would be right.  The liberal thought on this is wrong because the greater success a business has, the more resources are available to trickle down to the employees.  The conservative view is right that the theory is correct, but wrong about it always being properly implemented.  

Think of Jeremiah 17:9, which says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?".  The idea that profits always trickle down to employees is based on two fallacies.  That we are never greedy and that managers always keep employees in mind, despite a focus on ROI for investors.  And both sides of the political coin assume that we all know everything we need to know.

So, what's the solution to all this?  I believe it's a proper relationship with God.  If we're thinking with God, then our treatment of those around us changes.

1 John 4:8 (NKJV)  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

And, unlike us, God is omniscient:

1 John 3:20 (NKJV)  For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

When we try to direct or control things, it's from a limited understanding, a problem that God doesn't have.  Part of that limited understanding is that, no matter how charitable we may seem to be, if we even partially leave God out of the equation, then we place ourselves at the center of our universe. Which creates selfishness even to our most charitable thoughts and actions.

What is best for us and those around us is having a solid relationship with God.  Which means our greatest effort needs to go into knowing Him.  It's very simple.  Our thoughts and our actions are dependent on our relationship with God.  And that's true, whether we have zero relationship, the strongest ties possible to Him, or somewhere in between.  When we fully understand God's thinking and our thoughts parallel God's, everyone benefits

How's your relationship with God, today?

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