Yesterday, I was listening to Jay Richards on the Eric Metaxas Show. They were chatting about economics, about U.S. domestic issues and about Greece.
Quick promo: Eric is SUPER nice to have me on his show today. He’s a terrific host – fun, thoughtful, smart, hilarious – a great listen ANY day, but would love it if you tuned in HERE today. I’m on live at 1pm CST, but you can link and listen any time.
Greece’s situation could almost be a case study on human nature. Left to oneself, free of restraint, absent key components of a common language based on decorum (specifically those related to character – doing what is right, considering others interests ahead or even equal to your own), ultimate demise is eminent.
Not to over-generalize, but watching the story unfold reminds me of Hansel and Gretel. It’s as if the country came upon a candy cabin – or better yet, a money cabin – where they entered and ate and ate and ate. Then spent and spent and spent, without so much as a care in the world. What does it matter? The money is all there for the taking. Someone else will fix the problem. What problem. There are no problems. You’re the problem.
And, in all the eating and spending, they failed to see the boiling cauldron in which they now find themselves. Things are not going well with them, no matter how loud they yell at the world: NO, we will only play with OUR rules.
I’m reminded of the Lord’s directives to the nation of Israel as He outlined the Law. “Tell them to do these things so that it may go well with them,” He said to Moses. The logical result in not doing them? => not so good.
Today, Greece sits in the not-so-good. Though they’re doing quite the job of convincing themselves otherwise (a tactic I see often play out in my home).
Unfortunately, none of us live on an island. We actually live life together. Even more so with modern day technological advances. Countries are connected at the core. The actions of one absolutely affect the other.
In order to live together, we have to speak the same language. The common language, since our spoken word differs, has always been an internal language – where a yes means yes and where the concerns of someone beside yourself are considered. It’s the common language of propriety and decorum that keeps relationships in tact. How can the interrelated connectedness of a global economy work without it?
I’m not sure it can.
The common language seems to be getting lost, tuned out, in society’s obsession with relativism, narcissism, and philosophical existentialism.
But all is never lost. Chuck Colson said it best – and seemed to almost always say it whenever he spoke– “Culture doesn’t change people; people change culture.”
I’m convinced; those people are the ones in our homes. We can’t look to society to do it for us, we must carry the banner at the onset. Bringing back propriety and decorum starts in our homes. And if other-centeredness, honesty and hard work can play out at home amidst siblings – let’s just be honest – it can happen anywhere.
So as our kids are tempted to live and spend to their hearts’ content – enjoying today without so much as a care for tomorrow (“because everyone else is” and “it all works out in the end”) come at them hard with Tomorrow. Because Tomorrow works itself out when Today is lived with propriety.
I have the conversation often with my kids: You don’t live on an island. Your actions/inactions affect others. Character matters. Always be honest. Always consider the interest of others. Your integrity matters more than any grade or accomplishment or victory, never compromise it.
Yes – they often roll their eyes. But I keep saying it. Which I know you do too :)
Thanks for walking the road with me.