ALL TANGLED UP: THE CASUALITES OF CAPITALISM

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)

The craving for physical gratification of whatever the body feels, the greedy desires for everything the eyes see, and the arrogant pride in our achievements and possessions…these are the causalities of Capitalism. The main problem with Capitalism is that it is overly interested in “capital” – money, wealth, principal, investment, assets, resources, funds – and thus, it turns every institution into a state where the “profession” becomes more important than the product/service being offered, and where the “livelihoods” and “lifestyles” of the professionals start to matter more than the lives of those who receive the products/services.

I also saw this here on earth: Where there should have been justice, there was evil.
Where there should have been fairness, there was wickedness.                                    
Ecclesiastes 3:16 (ICB)

Our systems and institutions are not working anymore – they have all become corrupt. More energy and effort are spent promoting and protecting individual positions than in making a positive impact upon society. Of course, there are exceptions – there are people doing outstanding things, and for all the right reasons – but far too many operate out of the mindset of “What’s in this for me?” Fewer and fewer people will “spend” themselves and give their all into anything, unless their “return on investment” is financially lucrative.

In the Church – the “profession” of ministry has taken priority over the people who need to be ministered to.

In Healthcare – the “profession” of doctoring and sustaining every facet of it, has become more important than providing proper care to patients who are sick, injured, and diseased.

In Education – the “profession” of instructing and maintaining the institutions, instructors, and sports teams overshadows the students who need instruction.

In Government – the “profession” of politics and the power, prestige, and pomp it offers has taken precedence over the duty to serve the citizens of the nation.

In Business – the “profession” of management and money markets, and over-paying executives and stockholders, appears to matter much more than producing quality goods and services, and providing good wages and benefits to employees.

These “professions” used to be driven by passion, by a calling to serve, by a desire to influence, by a hope to make a positive difference – not by the paycheck. But, this seems to have flip-flopped as time goes on. Now the questions are: “What kind of lifestyle will this profession allow me to live?” “What can I get out of this profession?” It has become more and more about power, prestige, and privilege, instead of serving, sacrificing, and sharing expertise. We are “stuck” within ourselves and our appetites to entertain, indulge, pacify, and create ourselves. Everything is all about “ME” the prince/princess, with no regard for “we the people.”

This is NOT a cry for socialism – there will always be rich and poor, for some people are very adept at making money, while others are very adept in losing money. We shouldn’t reward irresponsibility. We shouldn’t take care of the lazy, deceitful, manipulative, and excuse makers. We shouldn’t allow anyone to “play the system” and if the “system” can be played it is a faulty system and needs to be overhauled. We shouldn’t pay “public” servants after their terms are up and they stop “serving” – no special lifetime salaries, no special pensions, no special benefits, no special anything – they are on their own just like the rest of us.

But how rich and how poor is a better question? When will common good override clear greed? When will our eagerness to be entertained be overcome by a hunger to invest in humanity? When will loving our neighbor mean more than living a frivolous lifestyle? When will compassion become more important than capital?

We have put the proverbial “cart before the horse.” We have become more interested in consuming than contributing – in being well-cared for than caring for the well-being of our fellow human beings. We should first be asking: “How can I impact lives for good?”Before asking: “How can I make a good living?”

Capitalism has caused our hearts have become cold, calloused, and uncaring. Capitalism isn’t the problem, people are. Serving and caring for people must always be our first and foremost priority – far before capital. For this to occur, our hearts need to be cured and there is only one remedy for this kind of heart disease – the LORD Jesus Christ.

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.  Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NLT)

 

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A SIN PROBLEM WITH A JESUS SOLUTION

All in all, after everything has been examined and argued, dissected and debated – whether in matters of war and peace, religion and politics, gender and race, crime and justice, health and education, economy and environment, marriage and family, pride and prejudice, gossip and greed, arrogance and ignorance – it all boils down to this one thing: we have a sin problem with a JESUS solution. So until we get this right, and until He returns to make everything right again, we will continue to live in this world of hurt.