Lately the Holy Spirit has been convicting me about money. Money and capitalism. Money, capitalism, and materialism. I read Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution a little while back and it really caused me to think about the part that I play in the systems this country and world run on. The systems idea is from Brian McLaren’s book Everything Must Change. Brian talks about the Security System, Prosperity System, and the Equity System. He talks about how they are broken and even more than that, suicidal. These books have led me to ask the following questions of myself:
- How much money is stored up in my pantry in order to ensure I am provided for?
- Even if I am faithful in tithing because it is a good starting point have I landed there with the belief that the other 90% is mine to spend as I wish?
- What am I doing with that 90%?
- While I cognitively know that buying things will not fulfill my desires for peace, security, and fulfillment in what ways do I do that very thing?
- What have I bought that has been produced by beautiful people all across the globe, mostly women and children, who are not compensated justly for their wages?
- Am I clothed at the expense of others being naked?
- Am I content with enough or do I live under the capitalist manifesto of “more, more, more”?
- This product is cheap for me but at whose cost?
- Will I trust in deadbolts and car alarms or the Lord my God? (“Some trust in chariots and some in horses…”)
- Do I allow God to define me or do I allow myself to be defined in terms of how industrious and efficient I am?
- Why do we teach our children to not hit each other to resolve problems and then go to war because another country does something we don’t like?
- Why do we arm the rest of the world so we can “protect” ourselves?
- Is there hope that we can live another way?
The list could go on and on and on…
I am remorseful that I have contributed so much to the poverty and dehumanization of so many. All for “the best deal.” Yeah…if the best deal means I save $5 but thousands of people are enslaved to get it to me. That doesn’t sound like the best deal to me.
Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner.