Economics For The Young And Restless
Words In Economics That Say It ALL
The most important word in economics is property. The person who owns and controls anything realizes power by that ownership and control. Example: The ball belongs to you, so you can exercise a measure of control over how it is used. If you own the bat as well your dominion increases.
We begin to learn about this when we are only one or two years old. The word “mine” comes very early and easily into our vocabulary. It is an important word to know, thus children learn it with little trouble. Parents don’t have to teach the word “mine” as they do words such as please and thankyou.
Because of our fallen and sinful natures we may use the word too much or in the wrong way. This is often the case, but mine is still a very good word and one that, in some sense, reflects the image of God in which we were created.
Mine as a word, designates an article of clothing, a toy or piece of candy as belonging to the person of, me. It subtly teaches a lesson on property.
Our parents usually tried to teach us about sharing. Sharing is a good trait, but not all of the time. Somehow, we knew that and attempted to assert our knowledge. Example: Wives don’t want to share husbands. Even girl friends and boy friends don’t want this kind of sharing. Parents cannot share their children. If a couple finds it to be impossible to bear children, our parents don’t offer one of their own. We aren’t supposed to share answers on a test or the work we have done on a school report. These things are property belonging to us.
Charity is commanded in the law of God. This is a part of biblical love which is the theme of the law. The Bible says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Summarized in one sentence, the law says that we are to love God with all our hearts, minds and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Charity is given proper direction and boundary in God’s law. Example: the poor tithe was periodically collected for the help of those who were unable to work. Sharing is a form of charity and is to be done in an orderly way, according to the law. Biblical charity is not scattered without discrimination to become a subsidy for crime and disobedience.
God Owns Property
We have been made in God’s imageand so our manner of living necessarily reflects certain things about Him. The owning of property is a key element of this idea.
God owns the world, the universe, having been its creator. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns mankind and is therefore owed their absolute allegiance. God pictures redemption in terms of His having purchased a people for Himself.
Belonging to God is a precious aspect of assurance and salvation. Our place at His table gives wonderful and ongoing evidence of His love and possession of our souls. He is said to own us as slaves, those devoted to live and serve in the safety and beauty of His Kingdom.
Reformer John Calvin first articulated a biblical view of work. He said that there should be no distinction between an ecclesiastical calling and any other calling. All work had honor and dignity before God. It all was to be performed as an offering to His glory.
Calvin, thus, broke with the medieval separation between the sacred and the secular. A man’s whole life, including his craft or profession, was redeemed in Christ. Even the most mundane drudgery had its purpose and was not to be despised. Our Lord dealt often and freely with men of relatively low degree. Often enough He was scorned by those who were priests or held other religious offices. He was usually disregarded by civil rulers.
God’s Word commands a personal bond to be maintained between employer and employee. Modern attitudes regarding the work place are antithetical to biblical law. They teach an adversarial relationship, one that assumes rebellion and reeks of envy and jealousy. A right understanding and appreciation of work depends on a right relationship with God.
Few people grasp the importance of work in the life of the child. A son or daughter, taking up a role of productiveness and support in the family, quickly earns a place of importance. Such a child learns to be responsible and to better avoid many pitfalls and the temptation of rebellion and delinquency. Modern “child-labor” laws prevent this significant development from taking place, mostly in the name of “protection” and of children’s rights. This is the result of wicked and idolatrous ideas that come from Humanism, the prominent religion of man. Many such laws are brought in merely to help politicians feel that they have done something to safeguard children from supposed exploitation.
Technology, though a blessing from God, carries with it the problem of making everyone able to live like a prince. Little actual work is left to do around the modern home. With no wood to cut and split, no horses to curry, no crops to plant or cultivate, most children are subject to the lying demon of boredom. Few have the opportunity to earn their stripes by providing needed goods for the family enterprise.
The subject of economics is thought to be boring and strange. Dow-Jones averages, points of diminishing returns and confusing labor statistics are terms that whirr around in our heads when we think of economics. The subject is, however, a very every-day matter of interest to all of us. It has to do with whether we have buttered noodles or fresh pizza for supper or whether we wear hand-me-downs from cousin Bruce, or new threads from our favorite store. These are pretty current and important things that interest even the youngest member of the family.
Economics means life. It has everything to do with how we live every day. In Deuteronomy 27 and 28 the Lord speaks to us about the economics that He designed for His world. In these chapters God lists the reasons for all blessing and cursing that can and will happen to a people. Most of these lists have to do with economics, going to the store, building a house, filling a storeroom, counting our farm animals, having babies and everything having to do with life and living. Christians are required to know how God’s system works. They should be experts in this vital subject so they will be able to carry out proper dominion in the earth that will honor Him and reflect His glory.
Two words carry such impressive meaning because they contain so much of the substance of God’s design for His world. He created and retains ownership of His world. His command to us to work six days in seven recalls His own pattern of creation. In our callings we are able to realize true significance in life and to properly reflect the glory of the Lord.