Can you think of anything positive about this recession we are in? I guess it’s kind of hard to have that “glass is half full” mentality when people are losing their jobs and losing their homes. Over the plenteous years, we’ve developed laziness, complacency, greed, and pride. It is due time for a good depression to detox our lives from the poisons that prosperity seems to bring. Here are five areas of our life that a good recession will help us with.
I have seen in my own life that when times get tougher, my mind seems to work faster, clearer, and more creatively. I think of new, better, and creative ways to, save money, and help others.
One aspect of my life that involves my creativity is my family. I don’t have the money anymore to just throw at my family to make them happy. Now i have to think of cheap and creative ways to do with things with my family. I come up with picnics, a walk on the beach, activities at the park, or even some time to sit and read a book.
If you are currently unemployed, and receiving unemployment, take this rare opportunity to bond with your family. Create memories that will last more than your unemployment check will. You will never regret this time.
Creativity also helps with new business ideas. Many people are receiving unemployment, but those benefits will run out one day. As the expiration date gets closer your mind begins thinking about business ideas that could make money. I started my own business when I was out of work. What better time will you have in the future? In the future, you won’t have this kind of time nor reason to think of ideas to start a business. Experts have always said, that the greatest time to start your own business is in a recession.
I could tell you, that it’s rough for any large or small business now. If you are employed take some extra time to start a side business as a safe guard against loosing your job. Maybe it will take off. . . maybe it won’t.
“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”
II. Work Ethic
Your work ethic is the accomplishing force behind the creativity. Think of it as a basic survival instinct. Most unemployed realize that if you don’t do something soon, they are gonna be begging on the street. Some of you may not think that a work ethic applies to those who are only employed, well, I’d beg to differ. Now’s the time to get that honey do-list, or that tree house finished. You don’t have to have a job to exercise your work ethic.
With your job on the line or no job at all, we all learn to appreciate the ability we have to work. Before, we took our ability for granted. We had no drive to survive, no desire to prove your worth, but now that you have no job, or your job is on the line, you learn to appreciate the responsibility that God has given everyone.
I’m looking forward to retirement myself, not for a long time, but that’s besides the point. I don’t believe that true retirement is what God intended for us. Getting through this depression is not going to be easy. For some of us, working hard may mean getting out of debt.
Bottom line is that we’ve become lazy. The ninety’s were a prosperous time, but we’ve become lazy. it’s time for a depression to wake us out of our laziness, and back into a work ethic that made us strong to begin with. I’ve heard it said that stress is the fertilizer for creativity. So take your work ethic along with creativity and you’ll be using the most effective combo punch to get you through this round of the recession.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.”
We’ve become cocky and selfish with our time and possessions. our prosperity for the past 15 years has boosted our ego so high that we’ve forgotten how we became prosperous in the first place. We need a dose of humility to bring us back to the level that God wants us at.
Because I live in the U.S., this point is especially true for Americans. The dollar is falling, the Chinese are buying all our debt; they even beat us in the Olympics. Our economy is no longer the superior driving force in the world. Not that this was all bad before, but it’s been bad for us because we’ve put ourselves on a pedastool that’s about to fall hard. We think America is indestructible. We think our creativity and work ethic is what has made America great. We forgot about God. More or less, it’s not that we’ve even forgot about Him because we’ve been literally pushing him out for quite some time.
America has lost the ability to acknowledge it’s weakness and see a need for God. Our pride is more devastating to this economy than laziness ever could be. Acquiring some humility is probably the fastest way that we can get through this depression. We are sorely mistaken if we think the value of the dollar, yen, or euro has more weight than the value of our spiritual heart.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”
Plain and simple, we have too much. In the past we could no longer decipher between our needs and our wants. I tell you what, when you are going through your house looking for change to pay for groceries, you soon begin to realize the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
I remember when the trash can in our house had cracked and we had to get a new one. Well, our house had stainless steel appliances, so I figured that nice stainless steel trash can would compliment it. When I went to the store, i found a nice stainless steel trash can for $100. Yes! $100. I was this close to buying a stinkin trashcan for $100. A TRASHCAN, are you kidding me!? Luckily, I settled for one for around $15. What was I thinking when I wanted a $100 trash can?
If there’s one mental disorder that we have not diagnosed yet, I would say that it’s materialism. Our greed has become out of control. Most of us have heard of and seen poverty on TV, but most of us, it’s never hit home. Now, friends and family are filing for bankruptcy, losing their jobs and their homes. Once depravity hits close to us, we begin to see things in a new light. That new car doesn’t seem so fantastic when our friends and family can’t pay for a place to live, or even buy groceries.
It’s a sad thing to see when I look back at the things I have bought. I don’t know about you, but I need a new perspective on the things of this earth. I’ve been hearing that voice in my head more and more when I’m at the store, “do you really “NEED” that?”
A good depression is a fine cure for materialism.
“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
This point is directed towards the Church. We have lost our responsibility toward God’s people. I don’t necessarily mean our spiritual responsibility.
It’s time for the Church to step up to the plate. Forget about trying to have the biggest TV, biggest performance, or flashy youth group. This is about survival. People have needs that need to be met. They don’t need a new drum set or big screen TV. The best way for us to reach others for Christ is to provide for their needs.
In a good economy, social problems used to be hard to find and therefore, easier to ignore. Now that they are more prevalent, it’s getting harder and harder to look the other way. This means that leaders are going to have to put aside the architectural plans, and break out the plans to invest in the community, and invest in those who need even the basic necessities, such as food and shelter.
At one point, we might have pushed for the government to take on more social responsibility. We think that they can provide schooling, healthcare, housing, and jobs. If the government can provide all that, who need a local fellowship of believers to come in contact with? But, it seems that the government is going broke as well, so we can’t rely on the government to bail us out.
We’ve got small groups, help groups, and youth groups galore, so I think the Church has done a good job over the past decade to encourage relational evangelism. But what about practical evangelism that will serve that cold cup of water? I agree that providing the venue to cultivate relationships in small group is a good mission for Church growth; but we cannot neglect the mission of the Church to train servants. The truth is that we’re afraid to “Go” into the world and serve.
Most of us feel safe giving our money to a good church that looks nice, has a nice white steeple, and has a pastor in a finely pressed suit and tie. The bizarre thing is that when we see someone without food, clothes and shelter we think that the nice church needs it more? That’s the problem when we stopped worrying about the soul and became concerned about the sanctuary. I’ve seen just as many souls touched by buying groceries and giving clothes as i have by hearing a month’s worth of sermons. Shouldn’t there be a red flag when it’s clearly our flesh that is reluctant to give anything to the bum on the street?
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
The poisons of prosperity have been absorbed into our bloodstream like a bad drug addiction. Stop looking at the glass as half full and start rejoicing at the opportunity God gave us to rely on his grace.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”