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THRIVE: The New Economy and Family

THRIVE: The New Economy and Family

December 12, 2012 5:00 am4 comments

To start this series off, we’re going to delve into on something quite touchy. It will involve dependence on government, a company and ultimately, man. There will be no need to state my views on government as I think they will come across very clearly.

But to clarify, I love my country. I respect the Oval Office and the President who occupies it. It is my duty as a Christian to respect the authorities placed above me by God. So while my view may differ from yours and that of our current president, if you must, please disagree respectfully.

The New Economy

We are in a new era.

We no longer have the opportunity to rely on a company to take care of us after working for them for 30+ years. We no longer have the opportunity to become complacent and wait things out. Either we act on the time we have or it will act on us. And when time acts on us, it limits us to what we are able to achieve.

We are living in a time where it is no one else’s responsibility to care for us. It is not that of the government, our company, our parents or even our children. Becoming completely dependent on any person, group or organization is entirely unbiblical and serves no one. In fact, it does a disservice to the ones that are contributing to the betterment of society and the kingdom of God.

We are, however, called to be completely dependent on God. He is the only one that can provide for us and will continue to for eternity. Jesus said “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26 NIV

So what reason do we have to believe that is not true?

If someone is in peril, it is not God that has forgotten, it’s us that have neglected to take the reigns and act.

Today, there is more opportunity to build our own future than there has ever been before. Most of us are not oppressed, nor do we have lack of funds, resources or knowledge. But I will say that we all too often have a lack of faith and motivation.

As I stated, we have become dependent on man in a variety of ways. We will go deeper into the many ways we have done this but the key areas are family, career and education.

In this post, we will explore the dependences of the family. They are:

  • Finances
  • Giving
  • Government
  • Education

As you will see throughout this series, some of these will repeat for a few areas. That is simply because they are intertwined in our lives and can’t be separated. I also don’t conclude that this is all of them. It is my opinion that these are key, but there are always more ways of looking at things.

Finances

This is something that I once took for granted. I was raised where we had plenty, not an over-abundance, but more than many do. And I bought into the lie that I could take out loans to go to college, land a great job and coast the rest of life out.

Was it my dream to do that? Actually, no.

My dream has always been to change the world. I’ve always wanted to do something huge. Something that mattered.

But as I got into my early adult life, I got caught up in the complacency of the world and thought I was owed something. I thought I was entitled to a great job with benefits and a retirement plan. That was all I had ever heard growing up. It was what you did.

Over time though, something changed and I realized that I never wanted to rely on someone else to take care of me. It was much more scary for me to put my fate in the hands of a single company than it was for me to go off on my own and forge my own trail. Some don’t have this motivation and that’s okay. It’s not for everyone and I completely agree that if we were all entrepreneurs, we’d kill each other.

The family comes into play as being where the responsibility lies. It is the job of the family to focus on their household in order to keep things in order so others than later be served. The Bible says “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8 NIV)

This means that we must take care of our house before anything else. And that means relying on God for all things.

Finances are just one part of that. It is not the job of a company to take care of us. It is the family’s responsibility to keep finances in order according to Biblical principles to avoid the pitfalls that come with disobeying.

This has never been more true than it is in today’s economy. The less we can owe others, the better off we will be. I highly encourage you check out Financial Peace University if you have not. It will change not only your financial life, but your marriage, trust in God and understanding Biblical financial principles.

Giving

Along with managing finances comes the power of giving. It doesn’t have to be monetary, but often is. Giving could mean our time, resources, knowledge, etc. And in a society where content on the Internet doubles every 72 hours, there is much knowledge to be found and shared.

This is one of those areas of life that we almost do for ourselves, but it makes us more like Christ the more we do it. It’s completely a win-win situation simply because it helps the other and us at the same time. It strengthens my faith in humanity when I see someone help an elderly woman into her car at the grocery store. Or when an anonymous donation is made to a local needy family to keep the lights on.

These are things that cause our hearts to swell.

It is the family’s job to give. The more management we have of God’s money, time and resources, the more of each we will have to give. To the extent that we are not doing this, we are failing as a living example of Christ. The Bible says in John 3:16, “God gave His only son…”

God is a giver. We should be too.

Government

As I said, I won’t touch on this much but I do believe it’s important to state my position.

It is not the government’s job to create jobs. It is ours.

It is not the government’s job to give us money (back). Most of us are completely capable of working and it is our duty to prepare for the times where we may be unable to.

I won’t go any further except to state the fact that it is the church’s job to provide for those in need. The church needs to step up and provide where it can. But the church is not a building, it is us. We are the church, we don’t just go there.

Which brings me back to the financial handling of the family. It is our job to manage the resources God has entrusted us with in order that we may be able to help those in need.

Again, if you disagree, please be respectful.

Education

To me, it is the family’s responsibility to educate our children on life and how it should be lived. There is a perfect textbook for that, it’s called the Bible.

That said, formal education is important. But with the way our society is changing now, its almost impossible for the school system to keep up with. Even the college I went to had great programs that were out of date by the time I got done with the course. They admitted that too, it’s no secret.

The dependency factor has gotten strong for public education. We rely on them to teach our children morals and standards when that should be taught in the home. We should be living examples of what we want our children to learn.

Personally, I have a 3 year old who is a little recorder. Many of you can relate. And I catch myself raising my voice when he talks back to me or yells at me. I have to put myself in check to realize that the very place he learned that behavior was from me. To be fair, I’m no tyrant. My temper is quite small but I can assume to him that someone 4 times his size raising his voice sounds like a giant getting his face.

All to say that we are lead by example. And we are to be led by example as well. The more we can be led by Christ, the more like Him we will be. Which will in turn, allow us to show that example to our children.

The education system is something that I believe in only to some degree though. I believe that much needs to change, and some is, in order for it to be at all beneficial to our children by the time they get of age to work and contribute to society.

If you are interested in the history of and where we are headed with education, I encourage you to read Seth Godin’s free eBook on it. It is called Stop Stealing Dreams and you can get it here. We will also go into more detail on this in the next couple posts in the series.

Conclusion

So with that, I will leave you until the next installment of this series. I hope you understand that this is help you into a mindset that things are changing. One goal is to help you understand that. The other goal is to equip you with the knowledge you need to succeed in the coming years. These first few posts will mostly be a mindset thing, then we’ll move into more actionable items involving social media and pursuing our true calling.

Again, it is not my intent to irritate you to the point of no return, but it is very much my point to irritate you enough to take back your life. We only get one life and it is to be lived according to the Bible and for the One that created us.

Until next week, thrive!

 

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  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    In my mind, I think of what you’re stating as personal responsibility. We can and should expect some basic things out of each person and its our responsibility to each act to the best of our ability.

    • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

      Precisely :D

  • http://twitter.com/stevengliebe Steven Gliebe

    Good stuff, Jared. Good stuff.

    • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

      :D Thanks man!