August 07, 2019

Heavenly Economics

Proverbs 11:24-28

One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

—  Proverbs 11:24

In this world, economics is often about quickly making the greatest profit at the expense of others. It’s based mainly on greed and a “me first” attitude. Though it is sometimes called “the pursuit of happiness,” it will never satisfy our deepest needs and longings.

There is also what we might call “heavenly economics.” It gives free rein to generosity, love, and goodwill. It turns the selfish, vicious cycle of greed on its head, and flashes of heavenly sunshine beam through.

We can hear echoes of this in our proverb today. Generous people forgive debts, as they have been forgiven, and ripples of love spread outward. That’s an example of amazing grace amid worldly economics, building up treasure in heaven.

Maybe you have seen the old movie It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s a story about George Bailey, whose savings and loan business lends out money at low interest so that low-income people can buy a home. But then something goes wrong: one day George’s uncle loses track of a bundle of money on the way to the bank, and that puts George in danger of going bankrupt. In the end, though, George is rescued by the townspeople, who give him all the cash he needs because he always treated them with goodwill.

Let’s follow God’s leading and live with generosity and goodwill. Greed and selfishness will only lead to ruin.

Lord, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . . for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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