The reaction by most politicians and activist-citizens in the United States concerning our nation’s economic woes and how to fix them reflects the sorry state of the present-day character of our people. “Somebody, bail me out! Please!”
Folks are all in a tizzy in the state of South Carolina because Gov. Mark Sanford refuses to buy into the line that we can borrow ourselves out of debt. Politicians such as U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn denigrate Gov. Sanford, charging the governor with playing politics while people suffer.
Unfortunately, people such as Rep. Clyburn never fail at character assassination when logic fails to sustain their position. The charge of “playing politics” could certainly be leveled at Rep. Clyburn himself, as well as all the proponents of the federal stimulus packages. Not a few Americans love the idea of receiving what seems like something for nothing.
A Baptist minister of music once told me that he always took whatever steps necessary to avoid pain or suffering. I found his words unsettling yet true for most of humanity. When people are in trouble, they had rather kick the problem down the road instead of facing it now.
If we were a people of moral character, we would argue that we have already borrowed too much against the future and we need to right our economic ship now. We would say “no” to what we cannot afford and learn how to do with less.
To do so, though, would require suffering and sacrifice, and those are things we’re quite unwilling to do. Unfortunately, it seems to me, suffering will come because of the speculation and greed of certain American corporations and the pandering of most politicians, as well as a citizenry in general which has forgotten the necessity of living within one’s means. The question is whether we will suffer now or push the day of reckoning upon our children and grandchildren.
We would do well to turn to the Bible for timeless truth.
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content (1 Timothy 6:6-8, ESV).
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content (Philippians 4:11, ESV).
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV)
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives (Psalm 37:21, ESV).
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7, ESV).