Saturday, December 13, 2008

How the Economy Reveals Our Souls

My good college friend, Lt. Commander Brian Weigelt, is currently serving as a Navy Chaplain, working as an agent of the Kingdom of God at sea. He's a great man (plus, he gets the great nickname "Chaps").

While he's at sea (in an undisclosed location) he sends out a daily email to the crew of the ships he serves. They are easily some of the best words I read each week. And yesterday's was particularly poignant, given the state of economy.

TODAY'S WAYPOINT--A Daily Reflection from Chaplain Weigelt
December 12, 2008

"Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.” – Warren Buffett

Psalm 62:10 (New International Version): Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Each day there seems to be yet another headline describing the desperate state of our economy. Economists in their ivory towers will note that this is simply a typical correction to the economy, readjusting expectations that weren’t based in reality. That explanation doesn’t necessarily make things easier for those who are suffering severely from the loss of jobs and reduced real estate value. Part of the problem many of us face is the fact that we have tied our identity too closely to our economic status, or to our material possessions. While this financial downturn may be a correction to our economy, maybe we should also consider a correction to our self-understanding. Our true identity, our true value does not have anything to do with the amount of money in our accounts. In fact, our account balances can insulate us from reality. Perhaps each time we read a headline about the economy, we should remind ourselves that the economy doesn’t define us.

Have I had too high of expectations for money?

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