The Millionaire Mindset?

It is now a well known fact that America is going through the worst economic crisis that the world has ever seen.  One economic analyst on the SBS program “Insight”  predicted that Wall Street would no longer be the financial centre for the rest of the world any more.  Many people have already been evicted from their homes since they were not able to meet their mortgage payments and been forced to sleep in their cars in parking lots. This is now the plight of many of the middle class as well as the poor.  It is always hard to see such suffering for so many people.

At the same time it may also be a good time for reassessment of a nation’s values and goals.  A nation that was originally founded on Christian values and eventually became the land of opportunity, has changed considerably over the decades and is now in a state of collapse.

It is imperative to retain the values of democratic freedom in America.  By no means should it revert to an extreme left wing social order like Communism or the extreme right wing social order like Hitler’s Totalitarianism.  Instead it is very important that America retains all it’s basic human rights like freedom of speech, the right to be treated with respect,   the right to equal opportunity to make choices in life in terms of job selection or establishing a business enterprise and so on.   These mandates must always be retained and protected.

Perhaps what could be beneficial is for America to rethink it’s original Christian values as to what they really mean and how to apply them again.  For instance when people first came to America,  they promoted a sense of freedom and opportunity where individuals were given the sense that as long as they were industrious and hard working enough, they could achieve great wealth and financial success.   It is good to work hard to provide one’s family.  As stated in Proverbs 10:4 God does not want us to be lazy and idle but to be responsible for our lives.

Unfortunately this whole concept of working hard for material gain,  somehow got out of hand, turning into greed and avarice.  Greed is clearly a sin in God’s eyes.  See Proverbs 15:27,  1 Corinthians 6:10, Ephesians 5:3,  Luke 12:15,  Romans 1:29,  Colossians 3:5.   This could also partly be attributed to the faulty economic model that the USA has built itself on.  This model assumes that the more goods and services people buy and consume,  the happier they will be.  However the truth is that it has led to a crisis situation where the more people possess the more in debt they have become and hence the more miserable.

An example of the outworking of this greed is that it seems that the common goal  of the average American male is to become a millionaire or a multi-millionaire.  It seems to be an unwritten standard of success that if a man is not a multi-millionaire by the time he is 30 ,  he may be deemed to be a failure, which is totally ludicrous.  Also the younger the man is when he becomes a millionaire,  the more people will bow down & applaud him.  This can put ridiculous pressure on the rest of the male population,  who may then feel like total failures or not “man” enough to attain the same level of monetary success.

With the state of any economy with finite resources and a finite amount of money to spend,  what is the real possibility of people in the economy actually becoming millionaires?  3 %?  maybe 5% of the population?  Does this again mean that the rest of the 95% of the population are financial hence social failures?  I don’t think so.

Remember that one of the main ways people become millionaires is to run their own business.  This takes multiple skills and a gift of entrepreneurship.  However the fact is God has not necessarily gifted everyone in this way.  The majority of people,  usually specialize in a handful of occupations during their lives.  Many also do not have the motivation and drive to devote most of their waking hours to running a business.

Perhaps this whole mentality of financial success is why American families have been forced to overspend on their credit cards and borrow exorbitant amounts of money to look as if they are successful and to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Is this social pressure to be a “success” in American society why people have taken out huge mortgages on houses they cannot afford or huge loans for businesses they cannot run?

Also the problem with greed (being a sin),  is that in it’s pursuit, it can then lead to more sins, like cheating,  deception,  lies, charging exorbitant prices that people cannot afford and hence oppressing the weak and poor in society.  This is exactly what some banks,  share traders and big corporations have been doing.

So how did the American value system become so wrong and blown out of proportion?  Perhaps the slow decline started a decade or so ago when the Government decided to abolish all Christian teaching and religious education from all schools.  This is so,  because without introducing children to the all encompassing values found in the bible,  they have no tempered balance in their thinking and hence their lives. Without God’s word to guide and direct us,  we are bound to follow extremes if left to our own devices.

An example of this, is when the bible says to work hard to earn a living – 1 Thessalonians 4:11,  but not to be obsessed by work for the sake of money, greed and material gain- 1 Timothy 6:10,  Luke 12:15.   God also commands us to show grace and forgiveness to those who have wronged us Matthew 18:21.  However there are also times when we must confront people with their sins in a loving way as well – Matthew 18:15-17.  The Bible is full of these guidelines to give us balance & hence wisdom in our lives. 

In conclusion,  it could be wise for Americans, and in fact all of us, to adopt Godly values and goals for our lives according to God’s Word the Bible, and realize this may not necessarily involve great riches and material gain.  Instead God promises that if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness He will provide for all our needs as well- Matthew 6:25-33.

May God Bless You Today

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