Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Real money

by John D Ramsey

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I was reading today in The Wall Street Journal about the high-powered money that the Federal Reserve has injected into the banking system to alleviate the liquidity crisis. Banks respond sending Bernanke a thank-you note, and then, before the ink is dry on the new dollar bills, they invest them in US Treasuries. Wow! Did you follow that? It is a high-powered shell game. The federal government is now awash in cash, but even deeper in debt. The cash it generated will result in tax rebates or deferred tax increases. Yet, the arrangement is detrimental because it bypassed the real economy. Few distressed debtors get relief. Would-be borrowers cannot get loans because the banks are risk averse (and Treasuries are a safer bet). Businesses suffer because despite new dollars on deposit, they are not funding real economic growth. The bailout is a ruse! It may take a decade or more before the dust settles and the economy recovers.

Meanwhile, do something worthwhile with your life. Jesus said,

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

How do you “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven?” Sure, there are financial applications to this principle and generosity is important. Nevertheless, many Christians are motivated to generosity by the hope of temporal blessing rather than the promise of treasure in heaven. Jesus requires more.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:34-37 (NIV)

Recent events illustrate how empty the pursuit of earthly wealth is. Regardless of your earning potential and financial savvy, you will someday leave it all behind. Nevertheless, losing yourself for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ earns eternal riches.

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