Last week I mentioned what a disgrace it is to have Joe Biden be the president-elect of the United States. That is so whether he stole the election, or won it fairly. A nation in which 70,000,000+ people (or almost that many, if several million votes are fictional) vote for the baby-killing socialists Biden/Harris is a nation deliriously corrupt.
But I also noted the obvious fact that life on the planet doesn’t just stop because things go badly sour. For proof of that, plug into world history at any place. Lots of bad things keep happening, and life seems to keep on going anyway.
We can expect the same in our future. We are going to keep living until we die, and we would be well advised to try to search for a way forward. Giving up is not a very honorable option (although admittedly tempting at times).
Last week we began with five fundamental good things we could do, and then added an additional eight things. So in part II we will begin with #14. Needless to say, none of these ideas are likely to be original, and they are in no particular order (after the fundamental five of last week).
14/Consider that having an upper middle class lifestyle is not necessarily important. For countless people, much of their energy goes into getting lots of wealth. That does not give them time to think about more important things. Consider the option of saving, and living under your means rather than buying and spending up to the extreme limit of your means. Jesus Christ tells us that ‘”not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”‘ (Luke 12:15) Your life is way more than your possessions, even if you are wealthy. Consider the value of living simply rather than always climbing the middle class ladder another rung or two. Probably we make such a fetish out of getting rich because we are empty of more interesting ideas. Yuck.
15/Avoid large debt. This sort of follows naturally from point #14. When we fall into large debt, suddenly our options are more limited. We have to keep bringing in (or begin for the first time to bring in!) huge income, just to pay off debt, when maybe we should be working at something that doesn’t bring in as much money but which is more important. Are we trapped in an area or trapped in a job because we have huge debt? Very low debt, or zero debt, will give us increased options in what we can do.
16/Pay your bills promptly. Why should ordinary people, Christian or non-Christian, have to hold their breath to see if we are actually going to pay them what we owe them? Similarly, we should not be resorting to the bankruptcy laws to get out from under our legitimate debts. Pay back what you owe, even if it takes many years.
17/Plan ahead for how you will leave your wealth, if any. It should not automatically go to family members. If they are enemies of God, why would we give what we have saved to them? We are trying to build the kingdom of God. Giving huge amounts to God’s enemies is a bad strategy. Would you give your wealth to the Democratic Party, to Nazis, to communists, to Planned Parenthood, or to any other evil organization? Then why give it to family members who have proven to be enemies of God? Granted, it is difficult to leave one’s wealth wisely! Think about this problem a lot–especially if you have much to leave.
18/Understand that complete sanity is impossible on this earth. We are all insane in one way or another. Rafael Sabatini’s hero Scaramouche was born with “a sense that the world was mad.” (Scaramouche, p. 1). Understanding the insanity of ourselves and of others will help us to be realistic about life. We can and I believe should strive for semi-sanity, but sanity in fullness will come only after death, if/when God completes our sanctification.
19/Laugh. Scaramouche, in the same sentence mentioned above, is also described as having been born with “a gift of laughter.” So he was doubly blessed, despite being born poor and of uncertain parentage. We need to develop our sense of humor, and learn to laugh with our friends. There could be incredibly frustrating and evil things ahead of us, but if we have the ability to laugh we have gained something very important and useful and enjoyable.
20/Try to develop an objectivity about your children and grandchildren. As an obviously rough estimate, 90% of the misery of the world comes about because Christian parents do a mediocre or poor or terrible job of raising their children. The parents never have a clue that this is so. But it is. We tend to expect little of ourselves, and then, surprise surprise, in return expect little of our children. They deliver the expected little, and countless numbers of our children end up enemies of God in the way they live. All of us have a hard time seeing that our [blank] stinks. When it comes to our children and grandchildren, we are even less honest about their character than we are about our own. Admittedly, it is very hard to develop objectivity about ourselves, about our children, and about our grandchildren. But it needs to be done, and even a modest beginning will help us and them in the long run. With pain involved for all of us on the way, of course.
21/Begin to read good books a lot. This ability can be developed. It won’t come automatically to everybody. But we are not likely to change the way the world goes on if we refuse to read books.
22/Become an expert on something. It is best to pick something for which you have a knack. I am unlikely ever to become an expert on countless things. No one will ever call on me to do their plumbing, or to install their electricity, or to build their needed box girder bridge. But there is one topic about which I am a leading expert in the world: the writer Gwendoline Keats (pen name Zack). This happened not because I am brilliant, but because God led me down a path where I was apparently the only person in the world who appreciated Gwendoline Keats enough to do some research on her. My expertise is a modest accomplishment for which apparently there currently is no competition from other people, and admittedly I stumbled into it, but it encourages me to know that a person of no particular brilliance can become an expert on something. If I can do it, so can anyone.
23/Relax part of the time. Life is challenging. The enemies of God have been winning a lot of battles lately, and we can get worn out trying to fight back. Most of us need some time just to relax and enjoy life. Watch a DVD or read a non-improving book. God went out of His way to tell us to take off one day in seven to rest and to worship. Worship is part of that, but so is rest. Kick back plenty of times. And not just on Sunday.
24/Consider the possibility that we can begin to have Christian law courts, which people resort to voluntarily rather than submit themselves to courts of the civil magistrate. Biblical justice is always going to be practical and helpful. The U.S. is moving steadily away from what is sometimes called the rule of law. We can begin to provide something better than what U.S. courts provide. This must start very small, but could become very big.
Well, it is going to take a part III to finish this. Meanwhile, enjoy Thanksgiving Day. Despite the bad things that have been happening to our country, we have much for which to be thankful.