Saturday, August 11, 2007

# 213: Waste, Laziness & Debts

This post contains strong words that may be offensive to some. Reader's discretion is advised. Again, this is not for the fainthearted. Most prudent writers don’t have the intestinal fortitude to indulge in such sensitive matters. Regardless of the dismay of many, I make it a point to write words as seen through the eyes of Jesus Christ, with no excuses or apologies.

The gospel of John 6:12. "Let nothing be wasted." Waste is a crime against Christ’s teachings, against the poor and unknowingly against ourselves. How so? Waste is a destruction of something valuable. Put another way, waste is contrary to the universal principle of conservation of anything which has value. When a person has an abundance, this little- known axiom can easily be compromised.

This principle applies to just about anyone who has too much of whatever, be it money, food or any other material commodities. On the surface, it may seem like a luxury not to have to scrimp and scrape. But if one excavates deeper, it mainly is a reflection of prosperity and little common sense. These are just two of the many reasons why, for a true disciple of Christ, wealth is frowned upon by New Testament Scripture.

Waste is also an indication that there is a deficiency of spiritual wealth concerning love for God and neighbor, etc. All that a genuine Christian has that is not consumed or needed (surplus) is a thoughtless theft from those without. When it comes to wasting food by eating more than necessary, that is also a sly and silent crime against self.

Being overweight and obese is one of the main consequences of eating more than the body needs, along with lack of sufficient exercise, which is the other cause that leads to a myriad of illnesses, diseases and an early death. Concerning lack of exercise, the invention of the automobile and other forms of fast transportation are also the main culprits for our poor physical condition. What happened to walking and bike-riding? Forget it; that will never come into vogue again. In general, for the 66% of Americans who are either overweight or obese, physical health may be gone forever. Those bad habits are difficult, if not impossible, to break.

Many times, and in many ways, waste has other insidious consequences. Just because one has extra today and that waste is the norm, it doesn’t mean there is a guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. The vicissitudes of life many times take strange turns when least expected.

I am certain the vast majority of the American population, "christians" and atheists, would disagree with the principle of individual prohibition of waste. And the results are coming to fruition. The American government has been wasting our money since the beginning. And now it is almost time to pay the fiddler.

By the year 2008, our (yours and mine) national debt will reach nine trillion dollars. Much of it got there by the idiotic workings of the Bush administration, etc., by spending more than it takes in. That means every American man, woman and child is in debt and will owe China and the other nations we borrowed from almost $300,000 each. What did you and I do wrong to incur such a large individual debt? [correct my figures if they are in error]. Most of us now living will die without paying that debt in full; we may not even start to pay it back for years to come. That leaves the remainder to be paid for by our children and grandchildren, if the U.S. still is around. As I mentioned in a previous post, if something isn’t done to curb wasteful spending, along with everyone having to tighten their belts, this country will be belly-up (totally bankrupt) in as few as 10 to 20 years.

Most of us are concerned with Islamic terrorists, and that threat is real, but another threat just as ominous that functions in an insidious way is the threat that is within us: wealth, complacency, waste and our lovely laziness. This threat will not just strike in random places and kill a few thousand, but everyone will be affected. If one can read between the lines of what is happening according to today’s news, it becomes apparent that something in our affluent society is dramatically out of kilter. Of course, most will stick their heads in the sand and say, "That is not true; you are just a doomsday ghost." I very seldom make predictions, but one I am certain of is the downfall of our wonderful, powerful and wealthy country. The writing is on the wall.

No one wants to hear about this kind of stuff. They say, "Tell us how holy and well-off we are." Sure! Many have been mesmerized into thinking, "Nothing can happen to such a powerful and rich country like ours." Our doom will be the consequence of corruption, mismanagement, waste and self-centeredness in government, along with the complacency of the American people. No one can continually violate laws that are established in Scripture—even if they are atheists—as to how to live, and get away with it forever, as some Americans believe.

Probably, one of the biggest wastes in our country is the waste of time. Of course, we don’t call it “waste”; we use euphemisms such as leisure,” “relaxation,” “rest,” “recreation,” “vacation,” “spare time,” etc. to justify our pleasurable activities (laziness). We take time for granted, as if we have all the time in the world. Think about this: Once a minute has passed, whether it was used constructively or wasted, it can never appear again; it is gone forever in time and eternity. The consequences of wasted time are endless. Regardless, we make excuses such as "I just don’t have time to do this or that.” Then we have to hire out the things we don’t have time to do. That is just our lazy human nature kicking in. That laziness is neglect of responsibilities along with a waste of money, exercise, self-gratification, etc.

Then comes the waste of time by those who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord (boss). Why don’t the majority take time to share their faith? Some may say, "I just don’t have time,” or “I don’t know how to express myself." For those who don’t share their faith, the result is lack of understanding as to what our Christian duties are, along with a lack of understanding of many of the vital responsibilities which were handed down to us by Jesus Christ. How can genuine Christianity expand and become more loyal to Christ if we don’t spread the Word as to what we are experiencing (the vast benefits of being a disciple of Christ)? Then some will say, "That is not our duty." That is the grandiose lie of lies. Listen to what the apostle Paul has to say about sharing our faith: Philemon 1:6. "I pray that you [that means every Christian] may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."

Most types of waste, especially waste of time, go hand-in-hand with laziness. Hebrews 6:12. "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what was promised." “Waste” and “laziness” are two of the devil’s most deceptively hidden words; they get those who claim to be Christians to fall by the wayside. Waste and laziness are as addicting, if not more so, than many other destructive habits. These types of addictions are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to break.

To be an active Christian is excessively challenging, since our deceitful human nature—which we all love—is a tough nut to crack, because it has been with us from the beginning. There are not many aspects of the Christian life that are easy, because we must be obedient to all of Christ’s teachings, and there are many. Since most won’t hear that teaching from the world’s pulpits, as they take maximum effort to implement, how will anyone know what Christ’s teachings are if we don’t continually search the Scriptures? Unless we are extremely fortunate and blessed by God to belong to a church that is truthful in teaching our part of Christianity, I guarantee that we won’t hear it from the pulpits. To conform to that teaching is our part of Christianity, not for Salvation, but for confirmation of our faith and love, repeating, which is avoided by the majority of Christian denominations. The majority of their pleasant-sounding words do little more that butter us up for the kill.

Certainly, it is noteworthy to teach how great God’s love and all His other attributes are, along with all else He continually bestows on us. Volumes have been written on the greatness of God and Christ, and rightfully so, but that easy-to-listen-to message isn’t worth a pot of beans (a love message that will lead us straight to hell) without continually being reminded of our obligation to Christ: obedience, which validates our love for God, along with our faith and Salvation (our entire Christian life). Something to remember: God is the vitiator of His promises to us, but only when obedience is continually violated/ignored.

In short, there is no Salvation without obedience to Christ’s teachings. Repeating just one more time: That is exactly what the majority of "christian" denominations will never preach for fear of losing members and loot, which “is”—in the singular—since they can’t have one without the other—their quest.

Notwithstanding, the biggest wastes of all are “wasted lives” concerning all who live/lived their entire lives without becoming aware of their spiritually genetic potential; by their new birth, which Christ gives us, they can live as He requires by becoming powerful gods in the flesh (clones-of-Christ-in-the-making). This can only happen when we actively desire to be the very best Christians possible. God’s grace, which gives us life, does not accept mediocrity. According to Webster, mediocre means: "Neither very good nor very bad; not good enough; inferior."

There are no greater and more satisfying heights to be reached than becoming what we were originally created to be. I personally attest to that truth; the evidence is my life. As disciples of Christ, we are to display—by our lives, words and power—exactly what Jesus is like. Where is the Christian power? When people see us, they should see Jesus; that tells them that Christ really lived/lives. That is exactly what the lost world does not see, and is the main reason they see us all as dumb-dumb fakes who willingly believe anything and use it as a needed crutch to get through life.

Regardless of whatever grandeur those who lived wasted lives may have achieved on the surface, their lives will/did never totally satisfy. They are nothing more than eternal fuel for the fires of hell.

Now concerning the harm debt does to real Christians. Let us examine the depth of what it is to be in debt. People want or need something, but we don’t have the money needed to fulfill our desires. Someone is making a good living with the money we give them, when we borrow money to buy whatever. If we had to save up the needed money to buy whatever, it seems like it would take forever to buy what we really can’t afford; whenever someone borrows money to buy something, they are attempting to live beyond their means, and they in reality do not deserve to have something they can’t afford. That principle is unscrupulously voided by paying the lender interest and small payments which they can afford until—hopefully not—hard times come along. There was a time before 1920 when only millionaires could live like millionaires; now, with a good line of credit, any poor fool could live like a millionaire.

Paying interest is like putting money on a racehorse each month that can never win (a dead horse). When buying a home on credit, 90-some percent of your monthly payment for the first year or so will be interest. After making your house payment for a year, except for a few hundred dollars, your principle will remain the same. I have to say, borrowing violates all common sense of wanting the best for oneself. If one buys a new motor vehicle, by the time it is paid for, it is worth pennies on the dollar one originally paid for it (literally worthless).

The reason debts are against the good of the gospel is because of the upkeep, responsibility, care and the possibilities of worries which come along with whatever is bought on credit. They may seem to make life easier, but in reality they complicate it and make us slaves to our easy-does-it-technology, and most likely, they are devastating and rob time which is needed to fulfill our Christian duties. 1st Corinthians 15:8. "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you . Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain."

Material possessions most often own the possessor, because now, in one way or another, one is dependent on his possessions. So, who owns whom? Mark 4:19 says, "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."

That may be the reason the apostle Paul in Romans 13:8 says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law." The only debt we should have is the obligation to love (help) our fellow man/woman.

In ending, it is a crying shame that such seemingly innocent things as waste, laziness and debt can put us in a position where we, without knowing it, can be robbed and cheated of our eternal destiny with God. And guess who gets all the glory? Satan, that beautiful deceiver, to whom little things mean a lot. The depth of this seemingly simple post deserves serious lifelong pondering. Find aspects herein that are contrary to the New Testament teaching and leave a comment.

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