Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…The inflation Proof Economy
As an eternal optimist, a trait I learned from both my father and his father before him, I don’t tend to look for the downside of things. I try not to concentrate on what is wrong, but rather what is right…or at the very least how we can try to make what is wrong…right. As I shared in a past podcast, my grandfather’s response to a difficult time or a piece of bad news was to always follow it by saying, “And the good news is…” To which if there was nothing good to say, he would exclaim with genuine conviction…“Jesus loves us!”
Even though I was born and bred to have that same optimism as a factory installed option…I am not oblivious to some of the difficulties in our immediate surroundings. I understand that war is once again the highlight of the news cycle. I know there is much unrest around the world and in fact right here in our own country. One of the things that right up until the invasion of Ukraine by the Russians was at the forefront of our lists of concerns was our economy. Inflation is at a 40 year high. In fact, the last time that inflation was as bad as it is right now was in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Back then it was so bad that we had a rubric that was reported on regularly in the news. It was known as the “Misery Index”. That measurement was designed to show the negative economic effect on the everyday person based on high inflation and low jobs numbers. Each week we were told what the Misery Index was for that week, and the measurement alone did much to increase the degree of difficulty of finding something positive to say. Grandpa had it right…sometimes seemingly the best there was to report was that Jesus loves us. That is enough by the way.
When economic difficulty starts to rise, many people try to position themselves as best they can by trying to do something called hedging inflation. Simply put, that term means to invest or put money into places that it will grow at or just above inflation. By doing this one’s worth remains as is or hopefully even grows somewhat in spite of out-of-control inflation. As a rule, things like owning real estate perform over the long haul as a hedge against inflation. In other words, the value of the home rises commensurate with the level of inflation and thereby protects the investment.
There is an economy that we can invest in that has never and will never be affected by inflation. In that economy there has never been nor will there ever be a Misery Index. The economy I am speaking of is the economy of the Kingdom of God. No, I don’t think there will be money in Heaven as we understand it, but Jesus told us there is a currency. Humility is the currency in the economy of the Kingdom of God. If you want to be rich in His Kingdom…learn to have a lot of humility. Skimp on humility and you will be poor in His Kingdom.
Most of us know that Jesus said that the first will be last and the last will be first as is recorded for us in places like; Matthew 20:16, Mark 10:31, and Luke 13:30 among others. Jesus was clear, if we are humble and truly understand humility we will be counted much higher in His kingdom. He went so far as to say that if we didn’t have the faith and humility of a child we couldn’t even find a place in His kingdom (Matt 18:3, Luke 18:17). Speaking of having a place in God’s kingdom, have you ever heard the adage that the three most important things to consider in real estate are location, location and location? Seems that is true in the Kingdom of Heaven as well. Psalm 138:6 in the New Living Translation says, Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Apparently not only are the humble exalted in His Kingdom, they also are afforded more intimate proximity to God. Location, location, location…it is everything!
Jesus said that it is the poor in spirit (in other words the humble) who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt5:3) Humility is everything when it comes to Heaven’s economy. In Mark 10:42-45 we get an insider’s view of a private conversation between Jesus and His 12 closest followers. There in response to their desire to have prominent seats in His kingdom he pulled them aside the bible tells us to explain a critical truth to them. It could be read that Jesus was trying to let them down easy, but I believe He wanted them to be exalted in Heaven, and so He told them the secret to how that might happen. We are told that this is what transpired in that private meeting. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus let His disciples know that pride, arrogance, and haughtiness are the principles of earthly kingdoms. Humility, enough of it to see one’s self as a servant or a slave is the key to being lifted up in the Kingdom of God. Jesus has the highest standing there of anyone, and yet His example was to serve all of us to the point of His own crucifixion and death.
So if you want to invest in an economy that is inflation proof, invest in humility. Immerse yourself in it. Make sure everything you do is done in humility. Practice it, get good at it, become an expert in its display…it is an investment that cannot be lost and is sure to pay amazing dividends. It is found in Matthew 6:19-21 that Jesus said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves (or inflation) break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”.
So now, investing heavily in Humility…Go Be Awesome!