Posts Tagged ‘banks’

The Millionaire Mindset?

October 29, 2008

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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God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed

September 22, 2008

I recently came across a passage in the bible which seemed fresh and new to me.  Perhaps because I have been using a different version of the bible for my quiet time these days.  It is the New American Standard Bible.    The passage really “jumped out” at me so I decided to write it out to share it with you:-

Exodus 22:21-27
21 ” You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”

This verse is God speaking about his people of Israel.  The Israelites were formerly slaves in another land  Egypt.  Hence they were foreigners or “aliens” , as the bible often calls them.   To apply this to our modern day living, this would mean we are not to oppress and treat badly foreigners or ethnic people who come to our country either to visit or to stay on a more permanent basis.

22  You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.  If you afflict him at all,  and if he does cry out to Me,  I will surely hear his cry;  and My anger will be kindled,  and I will kill you with the sword,  and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

Widows and orphans are vulnerable people in society.   To go through the death of a spouse, one has known for most of their life, is a huge loss.  Not only must widows endure long term grief,  but many things they may have relied on their spouse to do to survive,  they have to try to do themselves now.   As a result widows can often feel alone and much more vulnerable since they now have to fend for themselves and do not have any more close support nearby. 

To become an orphan at an early age is a huge difficulty for many children around the world.  A mother and father is the source of protection love and provision that a child needs in order to develop emotionally and physically.  At it’s basic level parents are the source of a child’s survival in life.  At a young age,  a child is not able to fend for himself and hence grow up to have a healthy and happy life on their own.  As a result orphans who no longer have the spiritual,  emotional and physical protection of their parents are extremely vulnerable to the oppression and evil of others.  Hence it is a great blessing when orphans can be placed into homes of godly committed parents.  However this does not always occur for many orphans.  Therefore God commands that we be careful to treat all orphans with kindness and love ,  since there plight in life is much more difficult than those who do have parents and a family unit to protect them.

25 If you lend money to My people,  to the poor among you,  you are not to act as a creditor to him;  you shall not charge him interest.  If you ever take your neighbour’s cloak as a pledge you are to return it to him before the sun sets,  for that is his only covering;  it is his cloak for his body.  What else shall he sleep in?  And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me,  I will hear him for I am gracious.

In this passage God is wanting us to have mercy on the poor in our lending practices.  This does not mean we should be a “door mat” and it does not mean we should not exercise wisdom when we lend money or services to other people who cannot afford them.  If we offer help to the poor it is good to do this with a generous and giving heart (not in a grudging & complaining way) , knowing that if we do it with the right attitude God will reward and bless us in His own way and time.  However if we are already in a position of wealth and comfort,  we are not to be greedy &  make the poor suffer more for the sake of our own material gain.  This type of attitude is not pleasing in God’s sight.   I do not know exactly what banks today do in practice. However it is could be wise to adopt godly principals in all their dealings ie to aim to act in a fair just and honourable way to all their customers and not be overcome by greed.  Otherwise God can cause them to dissentigrate as easy as a puff of smoke. 
 
 
 
 

 

An important point to note is that God does not automatically step in to help the poor and oppressed.  But it does say that when they make a decision to choose to cry out to the Lord than God will hear their cries.  This passage is from the book of Exodus and in context applies to when his people “the Israelites” cry out to God.  However I believe that in our modern era,  if those who are oppressed like the poor,  widows or orphans cry out to the true God of heaven and earth & seek him for life solutions in a genuine way,  I believe that the Lord will hear their prayers and help them in His own way & time.

This verse hopefully offers you some food for thought.  How do you think you can be a blessing to a widow orphan or a person or group who is not so financially well off? 

If you cannot think of anything straight away perhaps you could start praying for that person(s)  that God will protect and bless them and reveal himself to them in a real and loving way.

Prayer Points
1. Music Marketing Business Manager- with good networking skills to connect with TV Radio and The Press
2. Music Video Clip Designer
3. Backing Band – sound engineer and roadies
4.  Webmaster
5.  Performing Opportunities
6.  Prayer Team
7.  Translator –  to translate my Poems book of Lyrics into Mandarin

You can also check out my new look website at http://www.adellearwen.com .  I changed it for the moment so I can pitch my music more easily to music industry people.

Thanks for your help
Bev (Adelle)