*Posted by Joe Wooddell
I am constantly baffled by the bad decisions people including myself sometimes make. One of the most obvious cases is health and wellness. Recently a friend told me that, while he was walking past the book section at Wal-Mart he heard a (very heavy) mother scold her child, Calm down just a minute! Mommy has to read this book and figure out how to lose weight. My friend risked this response: I can save you some time and money if youre interested: Just burn more calories than you consume and youll lose weight. I once saw a waiter approach the table of a heavy woman and apprise her of the days lunch special: fettuccini alfredo. Is the sauce very heavy? she asked. No, replied the waiter, its a really light sauce. Are you kidding?! Theres no such thing as a light alfredo sauce! She was trying to justify her bad choice.
Relationships are another area where we often make bad choices. Am I loving my wife the way Christ loves the Church, dying daily for her, putting her interests ahead of my own? Am I smiling at my children, looking them in the eyes and encouraging them, blessing them, and disciplining them out of love, not anger or frustration? Am I being the sort of friend I want others to be for me? If not, these relationships will probably stink.
What about school? Cant students just read the syllabus and do what it says? 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, 15 page minimum. Pretty straightforward, right? Youd be amazed. When is the paper due? they ask. Have you looked at the syllabus? I reply. Read the material, study, do the assignments, come to class, take notes, keep track of your degree plan, and you will be fine.
Employment is not much different. Im convinced that if a person in our culture will take a shower, cut his hair, avoid tattoos, piercings, and bad breath, and show up on time he will be an assistant manager within a matter of months if not weeks. With hard work and study he will be a full manager in a year or two. If he goes to night school, learns the material, and gets an accredited degree, he will advance even further. If he gets a good roommate, doesnt waste money on cable TV or waste time on video games, eats groceries instead of eating out, if he doesnt have to have every new gadget that comes along, and if he avoids drugs, alcohol, and immorality, he will be able to pay his bills on time and stay out of debt. Another friend asked an unemployed guy the other day what was wrong with his last job. They didnt work with me, he responded. They were just out to abuse the employees and make money for the company. Hmmm, sounds like he wanted the perfect job. (I think Im the only one who has that!)
Politics and economics really are not all that complicated either. Try to create a society where there is Rule of Law, where wealthy, poor, and everyone in between are held accountable for illegal behavior. Lawmakers and other government officials (not to mention citizens in general) should read the Constitution periodically. Encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses by lowering corporate taxes, minimizing unnecessary regulations and paperwork, getting rid of government subsidies for certain products and businesses, and replacing fair trade with free trade. Care for the neediest among us, do not give able-bodied citizens a free ride, and keep training the strongest, most technologically advanced military on earth.
It all sounds simple, doesnt it? But theres something missing in all this: God. Life is vain without Him. Man is sinful, recalcitrant, crafty, and has sought out many devices (Eccl. 7:29). Notice the verse in the previous sentence is from the portion of Scripture we call wisdom literature (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes). This literature is full of wise counsel, the basis of which is fear of God (Prov. 1:7). Societies constantly try to create utopia, heaven on earth, because it looks so simple. What they forget, however, is that Man is fallen and, left to himself will mess it up. Common sense is not enough. Peace and prosperity are not the ultimate goals, of course. Rather, Gods fame and glory, and the salvation of men, are the goals. A godless society is doomed, sooner or later. For the umpteenth time I am not advocating theocracy or a health/wealth gospel. Rather, I am advocating a free Church in a free State, where believers live like believers, share their faith, and live sensibly. Such a society (and the individuals who comprise it) stands the best chance of peace and prosperity.