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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TODAY’S BREADCRUMB

JESUS FIRST, JESUS FOREMOST, JESUS FOREVER

For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him. And he is before all, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy:  Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell; And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven. Colossians 1:18-20 

“He is the Mediator of reconciliation, who procures peace as well as pardon for sinners, and will bring all holy creatures into one blessed society at last: Christ is the hope of glory…the hope in this world, the hope in our hearts.” – Matthew Henry

TODAY’S BREADCRUMB

BE JESUS FREE!

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:36  

Are you free – free from comparing yourself to others, competing against others, and coveting what they have? Are you free – free from guilting and shaming yourself over woulda’s, coulda’s, and shoulda’s? Are you free – free from disappointments, failures, and unmet expectations? Are you free – free from prejudice, fear, and hate toward those who are different from you and disagree with you? Are you free – free to be you and becoming the best you that you can be? Are you free?

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

TODAY’S BREADCRUMB

No one can sidestep JESUS forever, one day everybody has to deal with Him, and we each get to decide when and how. It can be quick and easy or long and hard – you choose.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

TODAY’S BREADCRUMB

Yes, there literally is “hell to pay” – the question is, “Who is picking up your tab?”

And so Jesus is able, now and forever, to save from the punishment of sin all who come to God through Him because He lives forever to pray for them.  Hebrews 7:25 (NLV)

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.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTION

Life is all about connection. In order to fulfill its mission, life requires proper connection to a power source – a means by which it can be animated, motivated, and energized. Plant life and animal life are innately connected to their Creator. GOD supplies and supports their existence so that they do as they are designed and have no say in the matter.

Our homes, automobiles, appliances, electronics, machines, and all such contraptions, are found to be useless and worthless without proper connection to their power sources, energy services, and networks which allow them to function properly. With the right connection though, these items do what they are supposed to do – and they have no choice to do anything otherwise.

Human life is different. Human beings enter this world dis-connected. The instant we’re born, the doctor cuts the umbilical cord to dis-connect us from our mother; and due to The Fall that occurred in Eden, we also find ourselves dis-connected from our life source as well. And what makes human beings unique is that we can choose to remain dis-connected forever. Our free will gives us the capacity to think things over, the ability to act in a variety of ways, and the liberty to accept or to refuse.

Yet here’s the drawback, human life has neither value nor purpose when it remains dis-connected from its source of life – THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. When dis-connected from JESUS, human existence is a meaningless march toward death – forever dying a forever death in a garbage dump (hell); but when connected to JESUS, it becomes a magnificent transformation into life without measure – a full and free, whole and holy endless existence in Kingdom come.

It’s all about connection.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Ephesians 1:7-14 (The Message)