Posts Tagged ‘financial freedom’

There Are Rotten Apples in the Pie…

          Whatever happened to the “American Dream”? Before you can answer the question you may have to define the term. While on a generational basis it may mean different things to different people, much depends on your point of reference. Most “boomers” remember the fifties when the dream was based upon the idea of a puritan work ethic which basically said, if you work hard enough and are thrifty you can achieve financial security and success. In those days most people had a savings account for the accumulation of sums of money and were required to make a substantial down payment before being allowed to purchase any item on credit. In short you had to work a while first in order to achieve your goal. For example you may have been required to place thirty percent down before you could obtain a mortgage. All things being relative you may have had to save five thousand dollars to buy a fifteen thousand dollar home. The same philosophy today would require a savings of fifty thousand dollars to purchase a home priced at one hundred fifty. Oddly enough, it seems that it is harder for most people today to save five thousand than it was in the fifties although people make far higher salaries not to mention the fact that there was generally only one wage earner in the home back in the fifties. So what happened to baseball, mom and apple pie?

          In short someone decided that baseball players were worth millions, mom needed to get a job and the serpent began convincing us that there was an easier path to the “American Dream”; all we needed was to shortcut the pie by using a few rotten apples. Toss out the whole idea of a work ethic, craftsmanship, doing a good job and the concept given us in the book of Genesis that we will eat by the “sweat of our face.” (Gen.3:19). Replace these ingredients with get rich quick schemes, easy credit and instant gratification. Now there’s a pie that will sell! Unfortunately, as we now see, it can have bitter results. It’s a story as old as creation itself. Adam and Eve were created in paradise and given everything they needed to sustain life. There were plenty of trees to eat from in the garden and all they needed to do to maintain the perfect environment was to obey one rule. Don’t eat from one tree in particular. But even that provided too great a temptation, I guess you could say they had too much of a good thing and that is exactly the problem facing us today. As the wealthiest culture ever known to the world we failed to be obedient to the ideals that made us great to begin with. Like a kid in a candy store we consumed until it made us ill. We had at our fingertips the largest opportunity of wealth ever known to mankind yet as a nation we have no savings, home equity is gone, financial freedom for many is lost, fifty percent of our marriages are destroyed, many of our children our emotionally scarred for life, and our nation is in financial bondage to our former and current enemies at the expense of future generations.

          The “good news” in all of this is that God is still on the throne, He knows what we need and His plans never fail for those who call upon His name. “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2Chron.7:13-14). This is the character of God who desires to heal our land. Our hope rests not in the government but rather in the people who are called by Hs name. The apple of self-gratification may look good but it will always have a bitter aftertaste.