what the current budget battle says about us spiritually

Theologian Francis Schaeffer once said, “We are surrounded by a world that says ‘no’ to nothing.” We do not know how to stop. We do not know how to say ‘enough.’
If you follow the news at all it is hard to miss the currently budget battle. Republicans and Democrats are working to find ways to deal with the United States’ ballooning debt.
Just one problem – very few politicians want to do what really needs to be done.
Realistically, the government needs more money. But, whenever raising taxes comes up, there is a group who screams, “We can’t raise taxes.”
Realistically, all government programs need to decrease their spending. But, whenever cutting the money to an actual program is discussed, we hear, “You cannot cut that program.”
Why can’t the politicians simply stand together and say, “Times are tough and we are all going to have to sacrifice. Everyone. No one gets out without paying the cost for our overspending”?
Ireland is mired in the meltdown of its economy because they would not make the hard choices when they needed to be made. Ireland tried to cut spending and raise tax levels and the people rebelled. Eventually, Ireland had to be rescued – bailed out – by the EU.
Ireland’s financial woes are small in comparison to what will happen if we do not get our house in order. That means we all have to bring something to the table and leave it there.
Though this current budget crisis is partly political, the bigger problem is that we have become gluttons for our own comfort. Our culture has so shifted to self-interest that we do not even know how to look out for the common good. We would rather have more and more for ourselves and our interests than fix the problem.
Proverbs 23:21 tells us to stay away from gluttons. They cannot control themselves. They will spend and spend and spend. They will eat and eat and eat. They will consume everything they can and never knowing when to stop and say enough is enough. When your full stop eating, only spend what you can afford, know that there are limits to life. The glutton doesn’t get it. If you spend too much time with him you will end up thinking excessive behavior is normal behavior – after all everyone overspends, everyone overeats, everyone is out to get all they can from this life.
If we do not control our gluttony, if we continue to wink at it and consider it no big deal, we might die the death of pleasure. As Proverbs 21:17 says, “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man.”


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