Straight Ahead…

“Seriously, is the stuff they have in bars nowadays really aged in oak barrels? Is that shampoo you’re constantly dipping your hair in really 100% natural? Can we really believe It’s Not Butter? Are those real!?
People, we have the next generation of boogeymen: Con Men. In the words of Maury Ballstein, these guys can probably “take a crap, wrap it in tinfoil, put a couple fish hooks on it and sell it to Queen Elizabeth as earrings.””
– Brent, ‘Children of the Corn’

Money isn’t going around as it should. Paper bills seem to have a life cycle, going through hands until finally falling asleep along with other bills on the accounts of a few organizations and corporations. I believe poverty produces the con men I spoke of, people willing to lie just to get a quick buck. On the other hand, the underhanded methods we see in advertising today lead the consumer to believe that quick fixes are better, and immediate satisfaction can be attained with no side effects. More and more people are buying into this hype, simply because more and more people couldn’t afford sturdy homes, healthy food, and quality education. Every second we breathe we are tempted and deceived to believe that what the world has to offer is what we need to be happy. It is easy to get hooked, easy to grow dependent on what we allow ourselves to have a small taste of. If we aren’t killing other people, we’re killing ourselves slowly, and those people who get all the money stay up there, laughing.

It just hit me. I don’t call them con men, I now call them people making the most of what they have. Poverty encourages resourcefulness, but it doesn’t necessarily endorse moral methods. We see that every day a cellphone is snatched, a bank is robbed, a beerhouse is raided, etc., etc.

Here, therefore, is another reason for us to go back to the Word of God. It looks like a daunting task to trace who keeps all the cash up there, and it seems like an even greater challenge to communicate to these people, much more to convince them to help the rest of the world out. Then again, I don’t believe I could change the world to work the way I think it should. Again, the only thing I have control over is my attitude and how I react to things. I could go ahead and complain or pick a placard up and start rallying in front of a posh looking building, effectively wasting my time.

So how exactly are we supposed to react to the sad reality of poverty?

We start by realizing and accepting that what the world has to offer, regardless of how short or long-term it is, is only finite and temporary. If we aren’t killed by the consequences of fornication, alcohol, smoking, materialism, and so on and so forth, we will see that it will all just fade away to nothing. I pray that we all have the gift of discernment to understand that anything that takes the place of the Lord God in the center of our lives is an idol.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

– 1 John 2:15-17

We would do better to seek the perfect will of God in our own lives. Where do we start off in doing that? We are challenged to take a second look on things:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

– Romans 12:2

I can definitely tell you that ‘renewing of your mind’ will not be an overnight deal. Once again, consistency is key. Though we are human, we can take heart in the fact that the Lord will definitely help us in staying on the path.

“Because he (Jesus) himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
– Hebrews 2:18

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:13
As long as we keep at it, and as long as we stay consistent, we can trust in God to help us out with everything else, even if things seem to be going down, down, down….
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
– Jeremiah 29:11
….wait on the Lord, and His peace will take over…

Just a refresher for everyone… Including myself. We serve an awesome God. May His will be done in every corner of our lives. God bless you!

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