Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reality Check: You can't earn God's favor.

Funny thing happened. I started a Facebook status update and realized I had a lot more to say. Or rather, I wanted to work through these thoughts in a bigger space. And the Peanut is with Elizabeth, and Spike is snoozing in the bouncy chair so I guess I will take the time to think about something that isn't what is coming in or out of my children.

I am not an expert on economic issues. I have never taken a course on economics in my entire life. I grew up in a house with a serious conservative bent, and deeply respect the thoughts of the people who raised me. They love God and they serve Him and they are really stinking smart. I spent my college days in an extremely liberal activity and am in a profession that tends to vote democrat. I have met people there who love God and serve Him and vote democrat. Many of them are also pretty smart. I don't think either party has a lock on what Jesus would do if He were a senator. I give you this information as a disclaimer because am getting all fired up about Occupy Wall Street.

More specifically, I am getting all fired up about what I have seen people posting on Facebook about Occupy Wall Street. Namely, I am agitated by the posts that keep popping up about how hard someone worked for their stuff and if those protesters would just work hard enough they could have that too. When sentiments like that come out of the mouths of believers, frankly, it makes me want to throw up. You can disagree with the protesters all day long and I will not puke on your shoes. But please do not tell me that the reason you are living a solid middle class American life is because you have worked really hard, not because you have been blessed by God. His favor has been poured out onto you.

Yes, maybe you did work really hard. I am by no means discrediting every single hour you worked. And yes, maybe you did teach your kids the right things about money and they listened and are being responsible. That is a great legacy that will surely benefit not just your children, but your children's children. But those money principles are biblical, and how blessed were you to go to a church that taught those things? You were blessed with a job that makes ends meet and granted favor in that position that you were able to stay, or even get promoted. You were blessed with kids who have the ability to go to college, with either no major medical bills, or God provided the means to pay them. You live in a safe country, in a safe neighborhood, in a house that isn't killing you or being foreclosed on because you planned well, and also because God blessed you. He protected you from calamity and/or provided when bad things happened.

Maybe I am particularly sensitive to this because I am right smack dab in the middle of the fountain of God's favor in my life. I have two healthy amazing kids. I work at a job that lets me take more than minimum maternity leave AND God totally provided financially for us during this time. All the paychecks I am missing are in the bank for safe keeping. Yes, I worked extra but God was very gracious with getting me the job and providing above what I earned from summer school. Then just because God is a crazy giver, He gives me a free second car seat (that we were considering buying). But God doesn't stop there Spike likes to rock at night and it has become clear I may need a glider upstairs. Elizabeth said we could borrow hers, and I have a lead on a FREE one from Craigslist. We just have to nail down when I am going to pick it up. I was given the two things I told Christian I needed to buy for Spike the morning I was going to go get them (seriously people, you need some swaddle blankets). Then Christian's cohorts and professors hand him a 100 bucks to Target! Happy Baby! These are just the things I can remember off hand. But I know for sure I earned none of this. I am blessed by God.

I don't know if the rich are too rich, or if they don't pay enough taxes. I am not informed enough to construct an opinion on that at the moment. I don't know how to fix health care or retirement. I DO think that we need some sort of guaranteed paid maternity leave in this country. But I don't know how to make it work. And I certainly don't know how to fix the housing crisis or our economy. But I do recognize the favor the Lord has given me. And  am so very grateful for His blessing.

4 comments:

John said...

Thats my baby girl. Preach it. I don't care how hard one works many people work as hard or harder just to eat. Hot food, Hot showers, lights that come on when you turn a switch, soap. Oh yeah Blessed blessed blessed.

Megan said...

Your post really made me think, because as I read, I thought to myself "well, YEA-AH I work hard to keep my job and I work hard to earn this money to have this house and this stuff" And I also agree that it's only by the Lord's blessing that I got the job in the first place!

God DID bless me with my job. BUT I work hard to show Him that I *was* worthy of this job and that I will do whatever it takes to keep this job He gave me.

I think the difference between what "they" are saying and what I have said is that they just leave Him out of it.

Abby said...

Also, a lot of people work really hard and lose everything anyway....

Mom said...

Some who struggle are demanding, expecting their "due." Some who work hard are demanding expecting their "due." This is wrong thinking. Right thinking is as you saay, I am blest.