How Coffee and Music Made Me Enormously Wealthy
A friend from High School just sent me a book he wrote about money. It's good... actually it's great. In fact, I'm thinking about doing some sort of online study on it, maybe set up a comments page where people can share their thoughts as they work their way through it.
All you need to know about the book at this point is that it has me asking the question: "If all I have is God's, what am I doing with God's stuff?"
Growing up, I was often told that the reason the Israelites were drug into slavery was because they were burning children in sacrifice to Molech and putting penis statues in tribute to Asherah on their lawns. This was part of it, but Isaiah 1 (and multiple other OT passages) speaks clearly about socioeconomic issues whereas the only reference in the opening diatribe toward Israel to false gods is the term "sacred oaks."
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Whether or not you believe the way we tend to buy and consume is indirectly but significantly detrimental or even oppressive to the lives of others, the above verse isn't about whether or not we are actively oppressing, it's about whether or not we are actively redeeming the world around us.
(If you're thinking, "well this is Old Testament law that doesn't apply," remember what Jesus said about pure and undefiled religion? It's practically a restatement of this verse.)
This morning I checked out my financial standing in the world. My wife is a barista, while I give guitar lessons and spend half of my time writing.... we are in the top 10.8% in the world. Phew, at least I'm not in the top ten percent *sarcasm drips onto your keyboard.* This tells me that I have been put in a place of stability where I can get my hands dirty and do some redeeming. I'm beginning to feel the weight of that responsibility.
If you'd like to check out where you stand in the global situation you can check it out at globalrichlist.com