Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whose Debt Crisis?

The current debt crisis is both political and personal. We can easily fault the US for financial irresponsibility. At first glance, the riots in Greece over austerity measures seem justified as a reaction to their government’s financial failure.

But those riots seem hypocritical when it’s revealed that a third of Greeks don’t pay their taxes! If they did, perhaps the country’s troubles would be over. In other western countries, a smaller percentage may evade taxes, but large numbers of citizens claim handouts illegally.

Then, how many of us are living beyond our means. Personal debt keeps rising, and if we think we can continue living like that without consequences, we are tacitly assuming the government can also and giving permission to do so.

Until we individuals are willing to put our own finances in order, and consider paying our dues a priority over entitlement, the crisis will rumble on, even if it doesn’t explode immediately. The Bible exhorts us to pay our taxes, and get out of debt—except the debt of love.

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another,” Romans 13:6-8.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amy Winehouse

The death of Amy Winehouse is a tragedy on two fronts. First, the death of any young person and the loss of the talents she displayed is always a tragedy. Several news reports mentioned that several singers, like Amy, have died at 27 years of age.

Whatever we may feel about the way Amy used her talents, they were a gift of God, and at some point could have been used for His glory. Every death is a loss to the world of the abilities and contributions he or she could have made to us all.

Second, the adulation she received from those who enjoyed her music, showed little regard for the lifestyle that eventually took her life. The search for fulfilment in the glamour of stardom seduces many and seems to be the goal of many more—a few episodes of Canadian or American Idol soon confirms it.

It’s easy to forget that we are engaged in a spiritual warfare, and the devil is having a heyday devouring whom he will. Every death before conversion is a person cut off from reconciliation with God; whether it’s another Amy or millions facing starvation in Somalia, prayer is our primary weapon.

Pray for those caught up in “the good life,” that their life may be extended until they realize the real source of life is in Christ. Especially pray for Somalia, that the unfolding tragedy there may be averted at