Two things I ask of You; don’t deny them to me before I die: Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, “Who is the Lord?” or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God. Prov 30:7-9 (HCSB)
Our society has buckled in the last 3 or 4 years because we became focused on our wants. Everyone was focused on doing whatever it took to have not just one nice, new car, but at least two nice, new cars. Everyone was focused on having all the latest Blackberry or I-Phone cell phones, I-Pads and Tablets. Everyone was focused upon having the latest flat-screen HDTV with the latest stereo-surround sound audio accessories creating a dedicated entertainment room. Everyone was buying a house that was their dream house. Everyone was trying to fulfill their wants even at the risk of their financial future. Then the economy soured. Jobs were lost and stock markets plummeted. House values tumbled. All those wants became a nightmare to many families as cars got repossessed and homes were foreclosed. What went wrong? How could this happen?
What went wrong was we’re a society that believed the lie that our jobs were secure, home values would always increase, and stocks were a safe investment. Our focus was not on securing our needs, but upon chasing after all our wants! From a practical perspective, Satan convinced the banks that in providing questionable loans they were offering young couples and retired folks good debt, or as it was presented – an investment in their future. In the meantime the banks raked in the profits! They sold the idea that debt was good and that they could afford to live beyond their means through all kinds of credit and mortgage schemes. Our greed bought into the lies, and we all are still paying the price today.
The good old American values of yesteryear have been lost. To have a roof over our head and food on the table for ourselves and our family was the prayer of Americans of our past, but somewhere along the way America’s corporate greed for profit forced a change in that core American dream of having our needs met to chasing our financial dreams! What we did not learn from the Great Depression, we have learned from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 (which still is recovering slowly).
How do we recover? Pray the prayer the writer of these verses wrote. We need to return the old American values of being content with a decent house and ample food for our families, and a sense of security in our land again. We need to focus on our needs, not our wants being satisfied. When we focus upon seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, it is funny that often we discover God blesses us beyond our needs, but only to the extent He knows we can handle the blessing rightly.
This day, and each day forward, we need to begin focusing our thanks upon the blessings we have that meet our needs, and not make our wants a part of our wish list. Let us remember the gift of love God offers us that can never be repossessed or foreclosed upon.
Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Â Amen.] Matt 6:9-13 (HCSB)